The FSA should not increase minimum qualification requirements to level six for existing advisers after the RDR but should consider it for new entrants, according to the Personal Finance Society.
At the PFS Tomorrow’s Client conference in London last week, in partnership with Money Marketing, LIFT-Financial joint chief executive Joel Adams asked whether the current minimum QCF level four is likely to increase to level six.
PFS chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) said: “Bearing in mind the pressures and difficulties in getting people to accept level four, I cannot see anything within a five-year horizon of raising this to level six. I would have no objection to raising it to level six for new entrants but I certainly would not want to see us go through another round of having existing advisers requalify at the higher level.
“I would urge and encourage people getting to level four or who already hold level four to voluntarily move on, not because of the threat of any potential regulator imposing yet another high standard but just because it makes good business sense.”
Goddard said a robust continuing professional development regime will mean there will be no need to force advisers to qualify at the higher level.
Aifa director general Stephen Gay (pictured) said: “The more you ramp up quality, laudable as that is, the more you will reduce the quantity of advice that is available to the public. Unfortunately, the regulatory process is designed to ensure we get the best possible outcome for an individual customer, not for the greatest good for the greatest number.
“While we have layers of cost put upon advisory businesses to improve the quality, no one is taking an overall measure of what that burden is doing in terms of the overall availability of advice for the population.”