Advisers are calling on the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service to raise the qualifications of their staff above QCF level four and publicly declare each staff members’ credentials.
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says supervisors and adjudicators need to have equ-ivalent or higher qualifications than the advisers they supervise.
He says: “If the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service do not raise themselves to level six by default, then they have no right to judge others with knowledge far greater than those sent to check their work.
“Those in power need to either evidence the qualifications of the checkers or put a programme in motion to fast-track them to level four and beyond.”
Informed Choice joint managing director Nick Bamford says the FOS must be forced to disclose the qualifications held by all its staff members.
He told delegates at the Money Marketing RDR Invitational last week: “We have a new chief executive at the FOS now and I think they should come out publicly and state the qualifications of the individuals that do various jobs there.
“I asked this of the previous CEO and the answer I got was ’they are experienced, some of them even used to be IFAs’ and I am not sure that is good enough. I think the FOS should publish a list of the qualifications and experience of every single member of their team.”
A FOS spokesman says: “Omb-udsman staff have a range of specialist qualifications and experience that fit the specific roles that they are in. Rigorous quality checks ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated and resolved fairly.”
The FSA refused to comment.