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Listen to adviser grassroots over advice gap

It is a fact that there is a distribution gap and we as an industry are now down to about 22,000 advisers. But that is just semantics.

For whatever reason, and whatever causes, people are not getting the advice that they need by using the traditional model. The FCA call that “the advice gap”.

Whatever terminology is used to describe where we are now, it is a fantastic opportunity for those that not only remain but also see the value in exploring different distribution channels in addition to what they do now.

Once the FCA agree that there is an advice/distribution gap, (and there is) I would like to see them engage with the remaining few at a grass roots level and not through the normal channels of celebrity IFAs or the normal IFA “unions”.

They should be listening to the people that have a passion for what they do and the families that they help. That care about the industry an not use it to further their own status.

I joined this industry in 1988 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and I joined because I wanted to help others survive financially if something like that hit them and their loved ones.

That mission remains true today despite what providers, regulators or other industry professionals throw at me. It is time the regulators listened to us and acted accordingly by providing more help and guidance, but not as an excuse to put up fees.

Stephen Underwood


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