View more on these topics

Skandia backs plan but ABI points to role in raising trust

Skandia has thrown its support behind the Association of Independent Financial Advisers’ calls for the FSA to drop its higher-qualification requirements for existing advisers under the RDR.

Last week, Money Marketing revealed that Aifa is calling for the FSA to drop the requirements or face a judicial review. Aifa director general Chris Cummings says the FSA should be encouraging IFAs to meet higher professional standards with regulatory incentives rather than imposing an “arbitrary cliff edge”.

He says: “The IFA sector has gone further than any other part of the industry in terms of improving professionalism. If there is a good commercial reason for advisers to get the qualification, then they will. What we have to avoid is an arbitrary date that leads to the closure of good firms.”

Skandia chief development officer Peter Mann says he “whole-heartedly” supports Aifa’s stance on the issue.

He says any new standards must be introduced in a way that allows advisers to continue to run their businesses.

Mann says: “Increased professionalism within the advice sector is very important for its future success but it is also important that any new standards are introduced in a controlled way so that advisers are able to gain higher qualifications while continuing to operate a profitable business.”

He says, without the RDR deadlines in place, there will be a natural movement towards higher qualifications that does not risk a significant adviser fallout resulting from “unrealistic deadlines”.

Mann adds: “It is in no one’s interests to drive good advisers out of the market by imposing unrealistic deadlines. Many advisers are already highly qualified and many more were voluntarily gaining higher qualifications before the RDR was thought of.

“Higher qualifications are nothing to fear for the majority of advisers and we would support more positive incentives such as regulatory dividends to encourage progress in the right direction. Chris’s perspective on the marketplace is insightful and correct. I support whole-heartedly the stance that Aifa is taking.”

But the Association of British Insurers has hit back at Aifa’s call, arguing that the increased qualification requirements are an essential part of the RDR. A spokesman says: “The ABI believes all full financial advisers must reach QCF level four by 2012. This is a central part of the RDR and vital in improving consumer trust in financial advice and the financial services industry in general.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm