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Gay thinks FSA could relent for advisers on the way to level 4


Aifa director general Stephen Gay believes the FSA will be flexible with the RDR qualification deadline towards the end of 2012 if advisers are struggling to achieve QCF level four.

Gay first raised the issue in the all-party Parliamentary group on insurance and financial services session in December about greater flexibility for those advisers who are en route to QCF level four but do not make the deadline.

At the time, FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll said: “I think you can understand I am not going to say now: yes, of course, we will be reasonable, because that would not be fair on the people who are getting on with it.”

At the Tenet annual business conference in Ascot last week, Gay said the FSA’s response was significant. He said: “The FSA pointed out that were they to relent regarding the deadline now, their fear would be that IFAs would take their foot off the gas in terms of pursuing qualifications.

You can draw what inference you like from that, but my sense from talking to them is, whilst they will not say so explicitly, if we were to get closer to that deadline and it looked like there was a car crash about to happen, they would take a sensible view.”


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Let’s have a TOTAL car crash – so this foolhardy idea doesn’t see the light of day!

    If everybody didn’t pander to the FSA & IT’S obnoxious rules – made up as they go along – what could they do? Probably what they explicably want & that is to get rid of the IFA SECTOR!

    At least we will know where we stand, instead of the ‘Death by a thousand cuts’! Role on 2012 when FSA HOPEFULLY GOT RID OF!

  2. This I fear would be a retrograde step if it went ahead. I think it is unfair to those who have got themselves organised and adopted a disciplinary approach to studying. Have we not known about this deadline for some time now? I assume that this would also apply to those (all of us!) who require ‘gap filling as I know of no one who has the 132 learning points.

  3. @ the first poster

    Your comments do this industry no justice whatsoever but just reinforces the need to raise the standards.

    Lets hope advisers such as yourself do not make it post 2012 which will automatically raise the standards!

  4. To Posters 2&3
    You completely miss the point which is;

    The Financial Services and Markets Act does not permit the FSA to
    cancel an authorisation simply because the FSA has changed its views on
    what the appropriate qualifications should be….It is one thing to impose
    new rules for new entrants to the IFA profession, it is quite another
    thing to disqualify someone who is already qualified.”

    Peter Hamilton QC

  5. To:A NonyMouse

    If it wasn’t for IFA’S like you – we wouldn’t be on this ever ending treadmill of the downward spiral of Financial Services WITH NEVER-ENDING REGULATION & NOW STUDYING . Do you really think that by charging hard pressed clients, who are already struggling to meet bills & keep a roof over there heads – that they have money for sactimonious IFA’S LIKE YOU! Clients deserve BETTER!Just because you have a certificate doesn’t mean a thing – just that potentially you can charge more & unfortunately get away with it!Did you not see the 6 Solicitors who got put away last week – all I presume qualified – DIDN’T STOP THEM SWINDLING MORTGAGES THOUGH DID IT!

  6. A voice of reason 3rd February 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Anon poster 1:

    The dinasaur attitudes that you portray are the reason that the RDR is necessary. You were probably against the 1986 act too!!

    I do not agree with all of the RDR provisions but the rasing of standards I do agree with. For those such as me who are sacrificing family life to achieve level 4 by 2012 and have ambitions to go on to Chartered status I hope that the FSA only make concessions for IFAs who are say 1 exam away from level 4 at the end of 2012.

    Rant over and back to work!!

  7. voice of reason
    maybe you should study the art of spelling while you are at it.

  8. Perhaps you should all have a look back at your petty, childish bickering and then rethink whether your so called ‘profession’ needs to have it’s standards raised or not. You are embarrassing. Whether you agree with RDR or not, the immaturity shown on these forums at times makes me cringe. God forbid any of you actually ‘advise’ members of the public what to do with their hard earned money.

  9. Since when has the FSA ever said it was going to be reasonable about anything?

    And anyway, if all us sub-Level 4 sharks, spivs, bums, cowboys, charlatans and amateurs are giving defective advice now because we haven’t reached this new benchmark, on what grounds could the FSA possibly be seen to relent and allow us all to carry on for a moment beyond December 2012? Surely, that’d be tantamount to dereliction of duty and the FSA would never want to leave itself open to such a dreadful accusation as that. Would it?

  10. I have the Level 4 qualification and I spent many nights and weekends studying. I would not be happy if the FSA allowed any extension to the date. We have all known about this requirement for years. I do appreciate it is difficult to advise, run a business etc whilst studying, but you have to start revising. It is not going to go away. I still believe the FSA staff should be made to sit this. Regulators that are not qualified, regulating regulated advisors, does not make any sense.
    Its like having un qualified police looking after us.

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