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.”