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Louise Eedy: Why chartered status needs defending

Chartered-Insurance-Institute-CII.jpgI read with interest Alistair Cunningham’s column in Money Marketing at the end of last year, “chartered status has been cheapened”.

Thomas Carroll IFA was named Chartered Financial Planners of the Year in 2009, the first time this prestigious title was awarded. We still take great pride in this accolade and can talk at length about the benefits it has brought to our business, as can all chartered firms.

While agreeing with Cunningham that we should be protective of this status, I fear many of his comments have added to a feeling of mistrust and resentment against the Personal Finance Society and our industry. I am disappointed firms are engaging in this negative debate.

Tim Sargisson: Why chartered status matters less than your culture

I also agree when he says chartered financial planner status can be achieved with no actual financial planning skills. But individuals should quite rightly take pride in their level of knowledge and technical expertise whether they wish to be in a client facing role or not. We encourage and reward each member of our team to reach their full potential, whether that be an IFA, paraplanner or well-qualified administrator.

The PFS Consumer Confidence Campaign was launched to create a more vibrant financial planning sector that is well thought of and highly trusted.  Firms should sign up to the seven principles:

  1. Refrain from openly criticising or deriding our peers and their processes.
  2. Respect that differing business models are not necessarily bad or wrong.
  3. Do not anonymously join public debates that may bring the profession into disrepute. If we have a view, it will always bear our name.
  4. Talk positively and constructively about our profession to maintain a united voice.
  5. Remind others that the majority of advisers within our profession operate to the same ethical standards.
  6. Inform clients about our commitment to professionalism by our continual updating of knowledge and skills through CPD.
  7. Demonstrate to peers that we are committed to working together as a profession by displaying the campaign logo and, even when in disagreement, conduct ourselves in a way consistent with professional standards and respect others’ views.

On 20 December, the PFS circulated an update on corporate chartered status, which addressed many of the criticisms made – but there is clearly still work to be done. I hope we can reflect on the principles of the Consumer Confidence Campaign and work together as a profession in 2019.

Louise Eedy is a chartered financial planner at Thomas Carroll Wealth Management


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I would be delighted to be in a position to promote ‘Corporate Chartered Status’ but despite being a chartered financial planner I have been denied this opportunity as I trade via a sole adviser limited company.I wonder how many other chartered individuals are similarly affected given there are around 2,500 single adviser firms?

  2. “Refrain from openly criticising or deriding our peers and their processes”

    Sorry Louise but I’m not prepared to sign up to what seems to impinge on freedom of speech, unless of course the regulators and press agree to do so as well.

    Grown ups, Chartered or not, can take and give criticism without being offended.

    Money Marketing would be a shadow of itself if it did not allow for critical debate.

    I agree with point 3 though, anonymity remains a problem providing a shield for cowardly attacks

    • Nick
      “I agree with point 3 though, anonymity remains a problem providing a shield for cowardly attacks”

      Like you to say that to the a member of the SAS !! cowardly attacks indeed

      OK, I accept this is not a war or a life or death situation, however some hide their identity for lots of other reasons, it may not be as black or white as you would like to think….with most things in life there is also the grey in-between .

      But then if I am a coward then so be it, post me my white feather.

      As for the article, all those points apply to all…..not just the Chartered elite

      • DH

        I fully appreciate that there may be reasons for a person to want to be anonymous but that surely imposes a higher duty of care to only attack the post not the poster?

        Why someone working for Swedish Air Services needs anonymity I don’t quite understand 🙂


        • Nick I apologise for attacking the poster, it was the word coward, I took exception too,
          My point is we work in an industry where you are guilty till you prove your innocence (sorry again I am getting away from the article) so lots of people use sites like this (and others) to go phishing, and I was once a recipient of a S166 order on the back of spite…well lets just say …someone having a word in the then FSA’s ears, (and it wasn’t a client or member of the public)
          After I had spent 10’s of thousands and damage to my mental health it transpired I was OK and case closed !
          To say, we have nothing to fear if we do a good job is false, those who have been a victim (as in my case) or those who have wasted time and money from CMC’s will concur !
          Like most blanket statements, like those who hide behind being anonymous are bringing the industry into disrepute or are cowards, is just as wrong, there is and could be a very good and valid reason for why being anonymous is their choice ..

          Picking a name out of a paper, register, or from a list of a web site (to my knowledge mine is only listed on one) can be very expensive to the one who has to prove his or her innocence

          • DH

            Thanks for that. I think MM is one of the least aggressive sites (never post on NMA is my advice!)

            I tend to agree with you, there are a lot of people out there with strong opinions on subjects that they may or may not fully understand.

            I think it’s healthy to have open and critical debate about our profession and I am surprised that PFS thinks that is somehow wrong. As long as we remain our own strongest critics I think we can make progress.

            Your experience is an awful but thankfully rare one and I can understand the stress and anxiety it must have caused.

            I am much less concerned about the debate on MM pages and the like than often ill-informed political, regulatory and media comments from people who should know better but don’t


  3. From a headhunter’s perspective Chartered status is a great selling point and for many clients a must have

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