Sesame Select Sales and marketing director Steve Young says the ability of Sesame’s multi-tied advisers to go off panel could still allow them to call themselves advisers in the future, depending on the final report.
Executive chairman Ivan Martin praises the FSA for making a clear differentiation between advice and sales, and says that the regulator must stand strong in the extremely likely event of banks lobbying against the new proposals.
He says: “We urge that the regulator maintain its course if faced with an onslaught from other parties, such as the banking sector. Sesame’s position is simple – you gain financial planning advice from independent advisers, you are sold products and receive information from salespeople.”
But he warns that by raising the bar for professional standards, the FSA might inadvertently undermine its objectives by forcing advisers out of the industry.
Martin notes that while it is essential to promote higher professional standards, the FSA needs to be careful not to “pull the rug” from under existing adviser/client relationships.
“There is a real danger that these reforms might actually undermine the FSA’s objectives, leading to advisers exiting the industry and leaving thousands of consumers without access to professional advice,” he says.
Martin also believes that the FSA is wrong to reject the 15-year long stop.
“We acknowledge the FSA’s need to protect consumers but feel there is an important balance to be struck between the interests of consumers and the advice profession.
“A long-stop time limit would deliver much needed certainty to the sector and help with the long-term viability of financial advice firms while also encouraging future investment.”