View more on these topics

Positive aspects

Spring is my favourite season. The first warm rays of sunshine and the profusion of colour from the spring flowers lift my spirits – and people smile more. So, while in a springtime mood, I want to take a more optimistic view of the world of financial services and talk about something positive.

Here at the Personal Finance Society, we are surrounded by achievement. People achieving the highest echelons of professionalism as chartered financial planners, firms achieving chartered status and individuals achieving the Chartered Insurance Institute’s diploma in financial planning ahead of the FSA deadline for higher qualifications.

This year, in recognition of the sterling efforts of our members, we are launching a suite of awards, including two to recognise excellence among those that have achieved chart- ered status.

There will be six awards – chartered financial planner of the year (individual), chartered financial planners firm of the year, highest achiever in the CII advanced diploma in financial planning, highest achiever in the CII diploma in financial planning, Citizens Advice money planner of the year and the John Ellis award.

I would like to reflect back to 2006 when, with the agreement of the Privy Council, the CII introduced chartered financial planner status.

The research conducted at the time indicated that consumers have a much better understanding of “chartered” as a practising qualification than they do of any other financial qualification.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents were aware that someone who uses the term chartered had completed professional exams and 81 per cent said they would have more confidence in advice from someone who is chartered than someone who is not.

This was particularly high among those aged 65-plus – 86 per cent – and those who were retired or working part-time.

Today, over 1,600 financial advisers have qualified as chartered financial planners and over 200 firms have corporate chartered status.

We will shortly be conducting further research to see how consumers view chartered status following the recent economic downturn and the availability of “chartered” financial advice.

However, professionalism is not just about academic achievement – all PFS members are required to adhere to a code of ethics and conduct and demonstrate continued professional development.

Ethical behaviour in particular protects the profession and the public interest. It is the hallmark of a mature profession.

The arguments for placing greater emphasis on professional ethics are clear and unequivocal. But a professional approach is not just about individuals meeting standards, it is about a common set of standards owned by the profession and which all those within it endeavour to live up to.

We need to work towards this common goal so that achievement is more than academic but has to incorporate the highest standard of conduct – that which we expect and demand of our chartered members.

Fay Goddard is chief executive at the PFS


FTSE buoyed by M&S

The FTSE 100 opened 20 points higher today at 3,763 as equities rebounded from yesterday’s sell off.

Nationwide takes on Dunfermline books

Nationwide has taken control of Dunfermline Building Society’s £2.3bn retail deposits, £1.02bn residential loan book and 34 branches. It is not taking over the social housing portfolio or equity-release book.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm