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IFP call to scrap plan for adviser retesting

The IFP is calling on the FSA to abandon its proposal for annual or biennial retesting of IFAs and instead leave it up to firms to ensure the competence of advisers.

In its response to CP157: Examination Framework for Retail Financial Services Advisers, the IFP argues that the FSA&#39s proposal will cost too much to implement and is not necessary because it is in a firm&#39s interest to be represented by competent advisers.

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says the idea, a central plank of DP9 which first outlined the FSA&#39s proposals for the new exam review in 2001, would be difficult to implement and monitor.

He says the FSA is starting to realise this and, to a degree, is backing away from CP157 and he hopes the regulator will come on side by the time the new regime is formalised.

Consultation on CP157 ends on March 31, with a feedback statement expected in the summer.

Cann says: “My feeling is that this would be the most sensible way to proceed because at the end of the day, it is in the interests of the IFA firm to have competent advisers recommending them. Retesting would be difficult to manage and how would the FSA decide what constitutes competence anyway?” FSA spokeswoman Kate Bristowe says: “We do not comment on individual submissions to a consultation exercise before the publication of the feedback statement.”

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