Anand Associates managing director Bhupinder Anand says: “What is the logic? The FSA is admittedly going to now restrict access to financial services for consumers. If it’s correct that in order to call yourself a professional adviser you can only charge fees I resent that.
“I am a fee-based adviser but many customers choose to pay commission and I don’t think the way I’m remunerated as anything to do with whether I can be called a professional or not. My qualifications, my relationships with my clients, my professionalism and my ethics are what make me a professional.
“If you look at the FSA’s four statutory objectives, 50 per cent of them will fail under this new proposal. For the FSA to deliberately restrict access to consumers to quality advice is a scandal. They’ve already done it with depolarisation and now they’re admitting they’re doing it so maybe we should applaud them for coming clean.”
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “It’s crazy. Every single last thing the FSA has introduced in the last 10 years to protect consumers has backfired at a terrible cost.
“This is a suggestion that at the outset the FSA are saying this will fail to make advice more accessible. It beggars belief – this is wholesale culling. It will be a downward spiral.
“The first point is less consumers will be able to afford advice on the products they need, the second point is thousands of advisers will go out of business and the third is less consumers will be able to buy the products they want because there will be less advisers to provide them. And all this will benefit the bancassuers who will say we don’t charge fees or charge commission then they will sell consumers inadequate products.”
New Life Financial Planning principal John Burnard says: “As a sole trader, I operate on both a fees and commission basis. I’m quite happy to go down the fee route, but customers prefer commission.
“I mainly deal with middle and lower income clients who often haven’t got the resources to pay an upfront fee. I am happy to take fee, but it’s not what the majority of my customers would choose.”