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IFP and PFS talk on setting up single standards board

The Institute of Financial Planning and the Personal Finance Society are in talks to investigate the creation of a single independent standards board to police all advisers in a post-RDR world.

In an interview with Money Marketing this week, new PFS president Robert Reid says although there will be more than one professional body, it is “absolutely essential” there should only be one standards board to oversee ethics and police advisers.

He says the PFS would be willing to formally split from its professional standards board if this made it more palatable for other professional bodies to use. It is already run independently by a lay chairman. This would overcome one of the major stumbling blocks to the IFP working with the PFS on this issue as it is concerned about any connections between the standards board and organisations offering qualifications. The two bodies will meet in December to consider how they could use the skills and experience of their respective boards to create a single independent organisation.

Assuming that membership of a professional body becomes mandatory as part of the RDR, Reid says it would be wrong for an adviser to be struck off by one board but allowed to keep working through another.

Reid says: “It is absolutely essential that there is only one board across the industry otherwise disciplinary matters could turn into a joke. There is a huge potential for us and the IFP to work together for a single board.”

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “The big challenge and opportunity for us is to create an independent standards board using the experience of our Financial Planning Standards Board as well as the skills of others in the industry.”

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