Ahead of speaking at Money Marketing Interactive in May, LEBC public policy director Kay Ingram talks about the importance of putting the client at the centre of the advice process and why she doesn’t agree with the FCA on some of its DB transfer policies
Have advisers reached a point of true professionalism yet?
In the 38 years I have worked in our industry, IFAs have seen a monumental shift from being sales agents of product providers into independent, impartial advisers, acting as the consumer champion and harnessing competition to promote value for money for their clients.
RDR should have been the pinnacle of the achievement of professional status, with fees replacing commission and qualification by examination and CPD. Some parts of the press do not seem to recognise this and unfortunately bad practice by a handful of firms can easily tarnish the reputations of the many who have continuously sought to raise standards.
As a relatively new profession we still have a way to go to convince everyone that we deserve that status. The best way to do this is to always put your clients at the heart of everything you do and to act for them in the same way you would deal with your own affairs.
How long will the DB transfer market boom continue?
Until the last member of a DB scheme takes their benefits. The pension freedoms legislation has meant that for some DB scheme members there can be merit in considering altering the shape and timing of when and how they draw their retirement income.
I do not agree with the FCA stance that an IFA should start the process assuming the transfer will be unsuitable. Every piece of advice should start from a neutral and open minded view point and should always take personal circumstances into account before a recommendation is made. Even if the majority are likely to be better off in the scheme, any biases in the advice process are a bad thing in my view.
Who would be your perfect client, and who would be a nightmare one?
A perfect client is one who listens to the advice given, has ideas of their own that challenge your thinking and takes an active interest in their finances so that adviser and client can collaborate to achieve the best outcome.
A nightmare client is one who knows the cost of everything, but fails to see the value in anything. He or she has made their mind up before they meet the adviser and simply want someone to rubber stamp their own ideas and take the liability if things go wrong. They will not listen to advice and will insist on following a contrary course.
Ingram is speaking at the session on drawdown at 1:50pm. To register your interest for Money Marketing Interactive, click here.