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PFS has not had its final say on commission

I am afraid that Harry Katz in his recent letter in Money Marketing headlined, Prac-tical knowledge beats the consultants, does not clearly reflect the context in which I commented about the ABI commission paper.

The fact is that we are putting together a response to the ABI. We have asked for member comments and so far I have had several, reflecting a wide span of views.

The spontaneous comments received from members since the ABI report came out similarly express a variety of approaches. Some members support the idea that we should look again at financial adviser remuneration structures because the traditional app-roach does not work very well in the current public context.

Others argue that the PFS has no right to speak at all unless there is a clear consen-sus among the membership to take a particular viewpoint.

It was in the latter context, that members believe they needed to give us instructions as to what to say, that I made the comment that we must use our own judgment. Why? Because when the report came out, I was immediately called by trade newspapers, including Money Marketing, asking for our position.

Other commentators were giving theirs. Should we have remained silent? I think that we would have been lacking in our responsibility to members had we not used our own judgment to come up with a considered view in that short time.

However, the final comments of the PFS have yet to be made and if members want to send us their views to be taken into account, we would welcome that very much. Even then, our own judgment will need to be used because the membership will not give a united opinion.

John EllisPublic affairs director,

The Personal Finance Society


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