The financial services industry is a vital one and good advisers perform
an undervalued public service. If you had not noticed, it is under very
fierce attack by well meaning but mis guided authority. A one-eyed
orang-utan could see what is wrong – if he cared to look.
Only independent advisers can give true best advice all the time. We
cannot predict nor guarantee success but we can at least guide people
through the maze.
Remuneration should be mainly as at present, with a choice of fees or
standard ised level playing field commission open to all.
This should suit all genuine practitioners and proper self-regulation
would follow. The life companies, investment houses and IFAs providing bad
service and performance will be weeded out.
The PIA/FSA have all the powers they need to punish malpractice. They
should concentrate on this rather than their current fixation with trivial
wordings and petty admin procedures.
There should only be two sales channels for life and investment business,
IFAs and direct, and I mean the Virgin internet type, not company reps.
In return, all IFAs have to realise that we are a service industry and not
a sales industry. Enough people need advice to accommodate the current tied
agents as IFAs. Networks, who must scrap any panels they may have, provide
a valuable service for those who need support.
The LIA and Sofa should be banished to the wilderness for their
Direct-sales channels will handle a growing amount of the easily executed
business. These companies make money at the push of a button or the receipt
of a tear-off slip. They can obviously charge less, even if they often
Advice is not sought or given and customers are responsible for their own
actions. They may appreciate the current low costs of advice when they have
had their fingers burnt.
There, simple, if you can see the wood for the trees – or should that be
Fife Independent Financial Advice,