Sofa has called on the FSA and the Financial Services Skills Council to make it compulsory for advisers to get specialised qualifications before they can advise on with-profits.
In his response to the FSA consultation into with-profits reforms, outgoing Sofa managing director Brian Lawless says if the FSA wants “transparency of with-profits” for the consumer, it will require qualified with-profits advisers.
He says the Skills Council's exam review should encompass with-profits and that advisers should not be able to advise on with-profits unless they are qualified.
Sofa is worried that the FSA's present proposals for providing consumers with information on withprofits will lead to a “great deal of confusion”.
Lawless, who is resigning from Sofa this week, to be replaced by former Britannic Retirement Solutions corporate development director Bob Bullivant, says it is imperative that this is addressed as part of with-profits reform.
Lawless says: “The challenge for the FSA and the industry is how the information relating to such a complex concept can be produced in such a way and still have meaning.
“There should be specialist with-profits advisers who can advise on this most complex subject.”