Lobbyists predict efforts to pressure the Government into introducing an adviser long stop are unlikely to succeed because of the financial services industry’s tarnished reputation.
Last month, Tenet launched an epetition calling for the introduction of “fair liability for financial advice”, and the removal of financial services legislation which allows the Financial Ombudsman Service to consider complaints regardless of when the advice was given.
If it reaches 10,000 signatures the Government’s petitions committee can recommend an inquiry or seek a response from the relevant minister. The House of Commons backbench business committee will consider the topic for debate in the Commons if the epetition reaches 100,000 signatures. It has achieved nearly 3,000 so far.
Portland partner George Pascoe-Watson says: “No political decision-maker of any political colour will be instinctively attracted by this idea so the sector needs to be realistic about the time and effort needed to scale the mountain. The work probably starts with reputation building.”
Writing in this week’s Money Marketing, The Open Road chief executive Graham McMillan says “extremely negative perceptions” of financial services as a whole will make the campaign a “struggle”.
He says: [The campaign] will have some supporters, particularly among some Conservative MPs who support the IFA sector strongly and who will probably raise it in Parliament. But Labour will accuse them of wanting to help their friends in the City. If the Government picks it up, then the same charge will be levelled at them.”
Lansons director Ralph Jackson says: “Advisers’ point has legitimacy and trying to get a debate going is perfectly laudable, but success in the short-term does not look likely.”