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Gummer says advisers are being made scapegoats

Aifa chairman John Gummer has attacked the media for assuming that all financial advisers are out for themselves.

The former Conservative Cabinet minister, speaking at the Aifa annual dinner, highlighted a recent Which? report on mortgage advice, saying if the magazine got its way it would create “a world in which there would be no advice”.

He added: “We are here because we want to help people save for their retirement and find the money they need to buy a house. There are some who do not behave themselves but do not judge every priest by the individual who is arrested for child abuse. Most people are doing a proper job in an imperfect world.”

Gummer also hit out at the culture which he believes has been created created by the national media such as MoneyBox and the Daily Mail with consumers being led to believe that they could invest without taking risks although they still expected rewards.

He claimed that when something went wrong they always looked for a scapegoat whether the Government, providers or advisers and it was usually advisers who took the blame.

He questioned the FSA’s initiative on treating customers fairly, warning that if you opposed any of its proposals you could be accused of treating customers unfairly, which prejudged the argument.

Gummer hoped that product providers would listen more to IFAs and less to consultantcies and provide them with the information that they needed to be able to answer their clients’ questions.

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