Most advisers say they would try to reach QCF level four by 2012 if they were offered regulatory incentives rather than being forced to pass the exams by the FSA.
YouGov/Money Marketing research of over 250 advisers shows 82 per cent of those who are studying towards the qualification or have yet to start but want to remain in the industry say they would still look to gain level four if they were offered regulatory incentives but were not forced to reach the benchmark.
Out of these advisers, 85 per cent would still seek to attain the qualification by 2012.
In November, Aifa called for the FSA to drop mandatory requirements for existing advisers to reach new qualifications, suggesting the regulator should encourage IFAs to improve professional standards with regulatory incentives rather than imposing an “arbitrary cliff edge”.
The research rejects the view that there is a clear split between advisers who have the qualification and those who do not. Nearly half, 43 per cent, of advisers with the required qualifications still say QCF level four should not be mandatory.
Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “The research will be of terrific value not only to Aifa but also to the FSA as they consider how to implement the RDR in a pragmatic way which rewards firms for investing in their business.”