This week Money Marketing revealed that Aifa is calling on the FSA 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”.
Skandia chief development officer Peter Mann says he “wholeheartedly” supports Aifa’s stance on the issue.
He says while increased professionalism is important, any new standards must be introduced in a way that allows advisers to continue to run their businesses.
Mann says: “It is in no one’s interests to unnecessarily 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 even 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.
“As usual Chris’ perspective on the market place is insightful and correct. I support wholeheartedly the stance AIFA is taking.”
But the Association of British Insurers has rejected Aifa’s call, arguing that the increased qualification requirements are an essential part of the RDR.
An ABI spokesman says: “The ABI believes that 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.”