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PFS says pro bono pilot is working but criticises CAB

The Personal Finance Society says its generic advice pilot scheme is working and has blamed difficulties on the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux.

Director of public affairs John Ellis says the PFS has thrown its weight behind the scheme but stands by claims that getting advisers to do pro bono work has been a problem.

He says the pilot scheme, which aims to get IFAs to commit time to giving advice in bureaux, has been hindered by a lack of clarity from the CAB head office.

IFAs reacted angrily when Ellis recently claimed that getting advisers to sign up to do pro bono work had been difficult. The PFS paid £40,000 into the scheme and says it is committed to developing a system of pro bono that could form part of a chartered status for IFAs.

Ellis says: “It is not that we do not think that IFAs are willing to do pro bono work, I am aware that many do but it is difficult to get people to make a definite commitment. It was very hard to get anything out of the CAB in terms of what they expected us to provide. I think that some advisers had a different perception over what they would get out of it.”

CAB spokesman Dan Levene says: “I hope there is not a difference in expectations. It may be that there is a difference in terminology. The cases that we have put through are those that are specifically financial advice cases.”

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