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Industry rift over minimum exam levels

Panellists at the Personal Finance Society retail distribution review conference were divided over what minimum qualifications should be mandatory for different advice channels.

At the debate last week, chief executive Fay Goddard and Aifa director general Chris Cummings said all advisers should be required to obtain at least a QCF level four qualification, regardless of the type of advice they are giving.

Goddard added that, in the future, the minimum standard should be raised to QCF level six, equivalent to degree level, for certain levels of advice.

She said recent YouGov research commissioned by the Chartered Insurance Institute shows that 96 per cent of consumers think IFAs should have a degree-level qualification.

Financial Services Consumer Panel vice chair Kay Blair said she believed QCF level six should be the minimum standard for IFAs.

Aegon head of industry development Peter Williams said QCF level four qualifications are too high for simplified advisers. “QCF level four seems high, I think QCF level three could be better,” he said.

Barclays Financial Planning products director David Stuart agreed. He said level three is a more appropriate minimum for simplified advisers.

He said: “It is not about dumbing down the standard, it is about making sure that people have the right qualification for the right job.”


Lloyds completes intermediary review

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Peter Curran as head of intermediaries for the group. It has completed a restructure of its intermediary proposition, with Phil Rickards as head of BM Solutions, Kevin Purvey as head of both Cheltenham & Gloucester and Scottish Widows and Ian Wilson heading Halifax for Intermediaries.

Help with legal issues

The article headlined, Drop in the ocean for repo help (Money Marketing, July 2), was very informative but could I reassure readers in need of legal advice on housing issues that there is help at hand. In fact, last year, over 170,000 people got legal aid to help them resolve their housing problems.

Chinese economy records 7.9% growth

China’s economy grew by 7.9% in the second quarter of this year, having implemented a Rmb4 trillion (£360 billion) stimulus package and increased lending to record highs. According to a statement by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), its GDP grew by 7.1% year-on-year to Rmb13.99 trillion in the first half of the year. However, […]

People on the move: Mortgages

HML has appointed Martin Frazer as director of client relations. Frazer joined HML in March following the merger of Skipton and Scarborough building societies. He was group commercial director of Scarborough as well as managing director of SMS, Scarborough’s third-party mortgage admin subsidiary.


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