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.”