Qualifications are not the holy grail that will prevent misselling, says Clarkson Hill chief executive Ron Pritchard.
Pritchard says he would be more inclined to encourage the group’s IFAs to achieve qualifications if there was better FSA guidance on which exams they should be taking.
Speaking to over 200 delegates at the annual conference, he said: “More professionalism is better for the consumer and will increase the level of trust they have in advisers but it is not a panacea for treating customers fairly. Fee paying does not equal professionalism.”
Pritchard said the FSA must realise that most IFAs are self-employed and cannot take time to retrain and take exams without the support of a bigger group.
He said Clarkson Hill is committed to improving its standards but the FSA needs to be clearer in its message over which qualifications it would prefer advisers to take.
Pritchard said : “We will help with all the change you need but we could do a better job if we knew what the right qualifications were. The experience of current advisers is significant but we need to look at grandfathering that across to younger up-and-coming advisers.”