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IFP starts awarding accredited financial planning firm status

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The Institute of Financial Planning has started awarding “accredited financial planning firm” status to recognise businesses that have reached the highest standards in financial planning.

At the IFP annual conference in Newport this week, the IFP will name the first 25 firms to be awarded the title.

To become an accredited financial planning firm, firms must provide a full financial planning service, including cashflow modelling.

The proposition must be clearly communicated to clients in marketing material and procedures have to be consistent with the IFP’s code of ethics and practice standards.

There has to be a consistent fee structure in place across the company, with staff aware of how the financial planning service differs from financial advice.

On application, at least half of the firm’s FSA registered advisers must be qualified as a certified financial planner, or as a professional or chartered financial planner who holds the AF5 financial planning process unit.

Accredited financial planning firms will pay a fee of £750 per firm upon acceptance and annually on renewal. An additional £25 will be charged per adviser for IFP members, or £75 per adviser for non-members.

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “As we get a far greater understanding of how these firms are delivering financial planning, we will be able to share best practice with those aspiring to this model.”

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Comments

There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Gravy Train leaving fully loaded.

  2. Would prefer a firm based ISO22222 than this mish mash of acredited bodies. As for financial planning tools being mandatory – rubbish. Not always necessary. Planning and advising are not the same thing of course and firms will do both.
    Sound in principle, and in many ways correct in practice, but too isolated and confusing to consumers.
    FSA – where is your lead in this?

  3. Sounds like a nice little earner for IFP.

    I gained Diploma status 17 years ago (at that time, putting me up with the ‘best’ financial planners – supposedly). It never made any difference to my profitability – clients didn’t come flooding to my door. They still kept on buying crap from the banks and insurance companies. So any firm expecting the IFP award to make any difference to their marketability may be disappointed.

  4. …….thin end of the wedge – start by charging £750 a year for something that you convince people they need and then ramp it up from there.

  5. A load of old cobblers peddled by a load of old freeloaders.

    Gravy train just about sums it all up !!!

  6. I think those that are slating this initiative by the IFP are very wide of the mark in their criticism. The IFP should be congratulated for their efforts to convince advisers that the value in their client relationships lies in their focus on the client’s goals, rather than which product provider they recommend, or which fund manager they use.

    My guess is that the dissenters would not stand a chance of achieving the very high standards set by the CFP mark.

    Congratulations Nick – keep up the good work.

  7. Yawn. Yes and? It’s not qualifications or accreditations that drive efficiency and quality – it’s competition. You get qualified (or possibly accredited) to better compete. Clearly if an accreditation body can build its own franchise as THE body to be accredited by, it can out-compete other bodies and make nice easy money as a proto privatised taxation (or protection money?).

    As Darwin says, success does not go to the strongest or the celeverest it goes to those that better adapt. Limiting yourself by accreditation to one body will lead to sclelrosis since its model of accreditation will rapidly become outdated. Better not to do it all and simply concentrate on the training and education and investment that fits the market you have chosen to serve.

    All these bodies are staffed an run by bureaucratic fellow travellers – well meaning I grant you – but fonctionairres nevertheless. They have more in common with the FSA apparatchiks than than us working at the coal face.

  8. Joel – the issue is the hijacking of the word planner. You must use cash flow modelling to be a planner. My wife is ISO22222 and a Chartered Financial PLANNER and very close to Fellowship but under IFP rules she cannot call herself a planner because she has grave reservations about cashflow modelling.
    In trying to achieve a professional approach Nick Cann has got this very badly wrong splitting firms that are basically looking at the situation in financial advising from the same viewpoint.
    ISO22222 is a better solution if it can be accepted with the support of the FSA.

  9. @ Joel Adams – “My guess is that the dissenters would not stand a chance of achieving the very high standards set by the CFP mark.”

    Bad guess cos I am a CFP and won’t be paying £750 every year just to show what I do. Clients pay us for providing value. Where is the value here?

    @ Sam – I don;t think Nick has got this wrong at because the IFP is different. It has a history of planning preceding product sale so he is right.

    But how anyone can have reservations about cashflow modelling is beyond me. Variables are addressed at the annual review.

    Based on the above, cashflow modelling is more in rather than out, so again, what Nick said is right.

    Pity about the high fee, otherwise I’d rather pay the IFP as opposed to someone else.

  10. We have a history of planning, and we are called chartered financial planners. But we do not use cashflow modelling. This is confusing to consumers.
    Cashflow modelling bemuses clients (I have met some who have found it too overbearing), assumes variables which change too quickly to fall within regular review periods, takes a long time to set up etc. It is not wrong, but the terminology is offensive since the word planner has been hijacked. The CII version is different from the IFP definition!

  11. Cashflow modelling, fees, RIY, investments, commission, pensions – they can all be confusing. It is up to the adviser to simplify things. Not saying that you can’t, but you can (as with anything) make it as complex or as simple as you wish…

    IFP model’s CFP is the actual planner, although having both is the best.

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