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‘Professional body would kill networks’

Introducing a professional body to maintain standards would wipe out the role of the network, according to Whitechurch managing director Ian McIver.

He says a professional body that can “hire and fire” advisers also undermines the regulator.

McIver says while many commentators claim a professional body is required to preserve standards, as with accountants and lawyers, these professions differ from financial services because of the existence of the FSA.

He says the accountancy and legal professions do not have a central regulator that acts in the same way as the FSA, which is why they turn to their professional bodies, the ICAEW and the Law Society, to rule their members.

He says: “I do not like everyone talking about the need for a professional body in order to give this industry teeth. I think it is the role of the network, or your employer, to have those teeth, carrying out the hiring and firing of its advisers if they are, or are not, up to scratch.

“I think there is a role for the professional body in relation to ethics and examinations but not to determine who keeps their licence to trade or not.”

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