The FSA has clarified that severely ill or disabled IFAs who want to continue to give advice after the retail distribution review may not have to pass QCF level four by the end of 2012.
This follows a complaint by Lighthouse Financial Advice financial planning consultant Cliff Linsdell, who was told by the FSA he had to take the RDR qualification or the alternative assessment route despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Linsdell, an IFA for 40 years, was advised by his oncologist that exams are stressful and could cause his health to deteriorate.
He wants to continue advising and wrote to the FSA a year ago for special dispensation. He was told to contact the FSA again in 12 months, which he did in February, backed by his network’s compliance director.
He received a reply on March 10 from the FSA customer contact centre telling him he had to pass the qualification and listing exam providers.
But an FSA spokeswoman has told Money Marketing it is possible for advisers in similar circumstances to apply for a waiver. She says: “If an adviser believes one of our rules would be unduly burdensome or would not achieve the rule’s purpose, and anyone whose interests are protected by the rule would not be put at undue risk, they can ask the FSA to have it waived.
“The FSA makes decisions about waiver applications on an individual basis.”