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PFS is taking the wrong line

It is very interesting to learn of the efforts that the PFS is going to to recruit new desperately needed blood from the universities into the industry but I feel that you are going about it in the wrong way.

If I was a graduate considering joining our industry, do you seriously think that I would ever consider doing this in the present climate of “cover your back or get sued for up to 16 years after retirement”, retrospective compensation awards and witchhunts, spiralling regulatory running costs, unfair inequitable FOS levies, lack of value

of business at retirement, falling commission, etc.

If I was a presumably well educated graduate, I would avoid our industry like the plague unless, of course, I simply wanted to make a fast buck and run. It is no wonder that numbers are declining and will continue to do so as long as such practices are seen to continue and be driven on by a regulator that is accountable to no one, with no realistically viable right of appeal.

The best way the PFS can help the industry is to publicise the difficulties and unfair practices we are facing at present, not try and make the industry more “sexy” and hide these things. The PFS needs to put pressure on the regulator and the Government to stop unfair practices, stop retrospection and witchhunts and stop the regulator expecting advisers to see what is coming in five-10 years.

Most advisers are very honest and try their best in a difficult environment. We are not living in an ideal world and sometimes it is not possible to do absolutely everything that is demanded, as such activity will inevitably lead to bankruptcy. Treating customers fairly should be duly extended to the FSA treating us fairly, too.

The Government must be encouraged to allow the public to think for themselves and not act as a nanny for all ills.

Consumer confidence in the value of advice must be improved again as, failing this, all that will happen is that the public will be driven into the waiting arms of the banks and big institutions which care little about the suitability and longer-term benefit of the clients and only about bottom-line profit. How is this beneficial for anyone?

Regarding the chartered status, this is a real achieve-ment. However, once again, this is yet another change in the qualification regime that only serves to increase costs. If I take this up, I have to reprint all my stationery, change entries in ads, listings, etc, all of which could change again in the not too distant future, for example, MSFA to APFS, etc.

I have no doubt that the CII purposely encourages change to sell more courses and promote new qualifi-cations. Why not settle on one thing and stick to it. This may then give the consumer something stable to relate to rather than a constantly changing confusing marketplace.

Dennis Burling

Proprietor,

DPI Financial Services,

Bristol

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