The FSA’s retail distribution review discussion paper has been criticised for not recognising specialist advisers.
Speaking at Money Marketing Live in Manchester last week, The Money Portal head of distribution and strategy Alan Easter said: “It is arrogant and offensive of the regulator to even put as a discussion point that in order to be professional, you need to reach a certain level of qualification.
I think it is an outrage that an adviser with 15 years as a specialist in pension transfers cannot call themselves professional or independent unless they sit hours of additional examinations, most of which is of no relevance whatsoever.”
Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen said he believes specialist advisers are the future and sees generalist IFAs as increasingly a thing of the past.
He stressed that advisers should look to add to their qualifications as part of an ongoing review of their competence in a constantly changing environment.
McBreen said: “Advisers need to be marketing themselves as specialist. To ask advisers to get to chartered from a standing start is going to be very difficult but clearly to specialise would be more achievable for many people. For me, the days of the generalist adviser are gone.”
Warwick Butchart chairman Len Warwick said he was disappointed by specialisms not being recognised in the RDR paper. He questioned why an adviser with 15 years’ experience and a strong track record in niche pensions and investment work should then have to take eight or 10 other modules to achieve the AFPC.