At the Association of British Insurers’ biennial conference on Tuesday, FSA director of retail policy Dan Waters said an important part of building consumer confidence is raising the quality of advice. Referring to simplified advice and guided sales, Waters said: “People have asked me, are you going to require the same level of advisory qualification for people in such services. The answer is yes, and some people do not like that answer but I will tell you why we have landed on that page.
“We think, from the view of consumer communication, if you are trying to build a brand for advisers that is a profession, to say, by the way, here are some other people who are also advisers and will also be calling themselves advisers because Mifid allows it, is just a recipe for going nowhere in terms of trying to achieve those underlying objectives.”
Aifa director general Chris Cummings welcomes Waters’ comments. He says: “The FSA has shown it listens to the industry.”
Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says: “I am very pleased there will be a level playing field, no matter what kind of advice firms are offering.”