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RDR: FSA’s Consumer Panel hits out at advice/sales U-turn

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has hit out at the FSA for its U-Turn on the advice/sales split and says the term sales advice is “devoid of meaning”.

Chairman Lord David Lipsey told the audience at the RDR conference yesterday that consumers will be extremely confused by a sales advice channel.

He said the FSA was prevented from making a clearer distinction between sales and advice because of Mifid limits, which he says were designed for European banks who want to continue to use the advice label.

Lipsey said: “If what the FSA says about MiFID is true, then it seems this nonsense language will have to be allowed.”

While Lipsey praised the move to higher professional standards, greater transparency and the Money Guidance program, he called for higher minimum qualifications for advisers.

He said investment advisers should be required to hold a degree level qualification, or QCA level six.

Lipsey said while QCA level four is a step in the right direction the panel will continue to push for the bar to be raised higher.

He said: “This is a enormous step forward but my panel remains committed for more qualifications.”

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