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Sifa hits out at “flawed” FSA proposals for professionalism

The FSA’s plans to apply the same ethical code to independent and restricted advisers is “fundamentally flawed”, according to Sifa.

In December the FSA announced plans to govern professional standards in-house, rather than through an independent professional standards board.

The FSA says it will encourage membership of professional bodies and will expect them to carry out front-line monitoring of members.

Sifa compliance director Ian Cockerill says to imply that professional bodies such as the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Financial Planning have similar status to the designated professional bodies, like the Law Society, is inviting confusion and “devaluing the concept of professionalism”.

He says: “The proposed professional bodies are essentially providers of qualifications and lack any such ethical code and to the extent that the FSA is determined that its own code should not differentiate between independent and restricted advisers it will be fundamentally flawed.

“The ability of restricted advisers to put the interests of the client first is unavoidably conflicted.”


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  1. Well put Ian, I asked Lesley if she remembered the ‘better than best’ rule, oh yes she said, well she was at SIB in 1994. Don’t recall the concept was entirely alien to me back then but where does it sit with the ‘restricted advice’, whatever that is.

    I told her that in an ideal world all advice would be whole of market or independent.

    When told that banks were flogging PPI to self-employed people pretending it was PHI, or Income Protection as it is now known, she said it was “better than nothing”… was I stunned? No, I calmly said “no it wasn’t, it was a complete waste of money”.

    There are predilections within the regulator, I don’t know why they exist but until they are corrected we will never have balance from the FSA, or any other body which follows it. You only have to look at the ‘experts’ the Tories have appointed, Michael Foot for instance.

    RDR, burn it down?

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