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‘Whistleblow on bad advice’

Personal Finance Society chief executive Tim Eadon says advisers should whistleblow on firms that are not acting in a professional manner.

Speaking at Adviser Live 2008 at Olympia in London last week, Eadon said it would help to maintain the integrity of the profession if advisers reported to the FSA where clients have had bad experiences with other firms.

Eadon said: “Are we, by implication, condoning that behaviour if we do not report it or whistleblow? In other professions, you would be expected to do that.

“Let us get some high-profile names out there that are not doing things right. We want people to know that we are kicking out advisers who are no good. We get measured by our lowest common denominator which is unfair.”

He also claimed that financial advice is not yet seen as a profession because less than half of advisers belong to a professional body.

Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard said the FSA must work to prevent “a ghetto” emerging under the RDR proposals where the mass market is predominantly serviced by salespeopleShe said: “Will advice be restricted to wealthy people? The holy grail would be a professional sales regime. If you could have a money guidance service that people trusted, it could be a back-door way of getting people into the advice process.”

Institute of Financial Planning chief executive Nick Cann said: “We were disappointed with certain aspects of the RDR. We thought that the original proposals were taking the IFA world forward. We still believe the FSA should be looking at defining financial planning as a separate category to general advice.”

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