Money Marketing understands that banks have been lobbying hard to have the minimum qualification for tied advisers reduced from QCF level four to QCF level three under the RDR.
The PFS says this should only be allowed if bank advisers have a very limited range of products available to them.
Chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) says: “We are happy for bank advisers to be qualified to QCF level three if they are restricted in what they can sell. There could be some form of product regulation, ring-fenced products sold in a certain way or an extension of the stakeholder product regime.
“But if there are no restrictions on what bank advisers can sell they must be qualified to QCF level four.”
Goddard also says advisers offering basic advice must be forced to attain at least a level three qualification.
She says: “If an adviser sells a stakeholder product they need a level four qualification, but if it is sold under basic advice no qualification is required at all. So where is the risk to the consumers more likely to be?
“The anomaly with basic advice is that it is believed these products can’t be detrimental to the consumer, so there is no minimum qualification requirement. That needs to change.”