The proposed alteration of the rules governing the sale of financial products gives cause for concern.
We do not feel it is fair, just or reasonable to suggest that independence of judgement/advice can only be achieved if paid for through fees.
Qualification by examination, robust monitoring and regulations, together with indemnity insurance, capital adequacy requirements and continuing professional development and study are all existing necessities indicating advisers' professional standing.
If on the one hand we are recognised as being professional enough to ratify the public's money-laundering requirements, pension eligibility and Isa savings entitlement, how on the other hand is it not deemed to be satisfactory to allow that we will act professionally when selecting suitable products?
Our record of business is a statutory requirement available for regulatory scrutiny at any time. Any undue bias would be clearly visible.
If the fear is that commission payments might sway or influence judgement to our own advantage rather than that of the client, then address that issue by maintaining a close examination of our record of business and increasing the punishment of those guilty of unprofessional bias.
Fee-charging is at best an indication of bias-free advice, which is available to those who can afford it. A record of business, when read in conjunction with a fact-find and reasons-why letter, should be conclusive proof that suitability has been achieved. Do not confuse the public more by making spurious changes of status but build on and enforce the existing valued position.
Investments and Financial Planning,