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Extension plea is rejected

The FSA has resisted the Financial Services Skills Council’s calls for an extended transition period for advisers to obtain a QCF level four qualification.

The FSSC has argued that a transition period after the RDR deadline, where advisers would gain QCF level four while continuing to work under supervision, would prevent a shortage of qualified IFAs.

But FSA head of investment policy Peter Smith says advisers have already been given a reasonable transition period.

He says: “The new rules kick in in December 2012 so that sounds like a fairly decent transition period to me. Since November 2008, advisers have been clear that if they have been doing level four qualifications they will be valid under the new system, so that is a four-year transition period.”

Smith says recent FSA research suggests around 90 per cent of advisers expect to be qualified by the end of 2012.

He adds: “In fairness to the advisers that are getting on with qualifying, you would not expect me to say ’if you are halfway through by November 2012 that will be enough’.”

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