View more on these topics

Going for the gold standard

Bill Tomlin, director of recruitment consultants Verridian, asks whether chartered or certified is going to become the minimum standard required for advisers

In the wake of compulsory attainment of level four diploma status as well as ongoing continuing professional development to stay in business, the financial advice industry is embracing a new way of working. But as the dust settles, a new question is being raised about the progression to chartered status, should it be the minimum industry standard?

According to data from the CII, a total of 3,471 people held the chartered qualification on 28 January 2013, representing a rise of 644 people year-on-year. This is the largest yearly rise in the Chartered qualification since the launch for individuals in 2005.

Chartered status is widely accepted as the gold standard qualification for financial advisers. Those at the forefront of recruitment are seeing many clients insist on chartered status as a primary requirement.

With the number of people achieving the status and leading firms only working with those that are chartered, the industry seems firmly set on its course. However, a number of advisers are not of the same opinion.

On the other side of the fence, a number of advisers see the status as excessive. According to a recent discussion forum, one commentator said:

“The trouble is that there are a very large number of advisers, in fact probably the majority of advisers, who not only strongly objected to being forced through to what they see as a completely unnecessary qualification at level four, but will also feel that any further compulsory qualifications in their case are entirely unnecessary, bordering on victimisation.”

Advisers could feel pressured, even forced into chartered status, as the industry looks for greater standards, but this still begs the question about whether advisers feel it’s necessary to go beyond level four?

The majority have a great deal of experience, a long-standing customer base and the expertise to keep abreast of industry changes and legislation. Customers also understand the change in fee structure and so are looking much more closely at the adviser and questioning the value they receive, as well as the return on investment.

As another commentator highlighted: “A recent ‘prospect’s’ (assuming it wasn’t a mystery shopper) first question to a colleague of mine was, “Are you a chartered adviser?” He isn’t yet and is working towards it which he informed the individual, to which she replied thank you (but no thanks) and the enquiry went no further.”

I firmly believe that many (customers and employers) will select their advisers and employees based on their qualifications as well as their experience in a marketplace which is seeing a shift as seismic as polarisation caused in the late eighties.

It seems logical that the next minimum standard will be chartered. Institutions are demanding the status, as well as savvy consumers. We now need to accept this fait accompli and identify a tool that supports each adviser – not only on the route to chartered, but with CPD.

The work of the CII, PFS and IFP has been at the forefront of the ongoing development of a professional career path for financial advisers, and we must now embrace these changes, placing everyone in a learning frame of mind, which I believe will help improve the professionalism and reputation of financial advisers further.

Bill Tomlin is director of Verridian

Recommended

My Beautiful Career: Peter Mann

What was your first job within financial services? My first job was working as a life inspector for Royal Life, which involved selling Royal Life products to intermediaries, largely small IFA firms and locally based building society branches in the South London area. Describe what you do in your current role. I manage the UK […]

1

Lighthouse appoints Fay Goddard as non-exec director

Lighthouse has announced the appointment of Fay Goddard as a non-executive director. Goddard, currently the Personal Finance Society chief executive, will take up the position on 1 April. Goddard announced in November she would be retiring from the role at PFS after nearly five years heading the professional body. Goddard was previously deputy director general […]

Apfa figures reveal 10% drop in adviser numbers

The number of advisers fell by almost 10 per cent between 2011 and 2012 from 26,339 to 23,865, figures from Apfa reveal. The trade body has compiled data on firm and adviser numbers, profit figures and the number and segmentation of clients based on FSA figures spanning from 2009 to 2012. The research also draws […]

Budget 13: Employers given power to pass on pension contracting-out costs

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed the Government will introduce a statutory override to allow private sector employers to pass on the cost of losing the contracting-out rebate to employees. Giving his Budget speech today, Osborne said the Government will allow private sector employers who contracted-out to adjust pension benefits to take account of the loss […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com