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IFAs are a soft target for the media

I am responding to the statement made by the Tory Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Philip Hammond, who said at the ABI/CBI event on pension reform, that “financial advisers have a worse reputation than anyone else in the industry.”

It is symptomatic of politicians, and much of the media, to jump on the bandwagon most likely to get them publicity, irrespective of the truth of their statements. It is a sad day when a politician such as Philip Hammond sees fit to knock financial advisers, and thus join the chorus of prejudiced parties whose hobby is to do just that. He is merely reiterating the platitudes continually put out by the press, who have been extremely biased in their reporting and, no doubt, working on the premise that it is bad news that sells. Too often, only half the truth is told and a head in the sand attitude taken to the majority of advisers who do a professional job and have highly satisfied customers.

In reply to his statement, I would point to the enormous progress that has been made in the last 10 years in weeding out the cowboys who have so often marred this profession. Much of this has been due to regulation and the insistence on minimum levels of competence as well as ongoing monitoring of the quality of advice given by advisers by such bodies as networks.

Our experience is that the vast majority of IFAs aim to have satisfied customers and can point to those customers having been with them for many years. Most of them are looking for referrals from their customers and they are only likely to get those if they are doing a good job for them.

Stanley Lovell

Group executive chairman

IN Partnership


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