Simplified products and improvements in levels of advice given to consumers will only be made possib...
Simplified products and improvements in levels of advice given to consumers will only be made possible if the number of financial planners increases exponentially in the next decade, the AITC says in its response to FSA Consultation Paper 157.
Quoting the Institute of Financial Planing figures, the AITC says there are just 300 "financial planners" at present - as defined by the IFP - but that number must hit 10,000 in the next 10 years if the FSA is to meet targets for spreading financial advice.
A single examination framework is supported by the AITC, but only if it providers the flexibility necessary to meet different needs among financial planners with different sorts of customers.
That framework should at the very least provide three levels of competency, it adds, distinguishing between those who provide information, those who give product advice and those who give financial planning advice.
Separating competency levels this way would make a light-touch regulatory regime more possible, it adds.
In terms of a syllabus, the AITC quotes surveys of financial practitioners during meetings earlier this year, when it says all sorts of investment trusts, including split capital trusts, should be included in the core of any education in terms of understanding and applying knowledge.
Asset allocation and financial planning would also need to be part of any core level of knowledge demanded by the new T&C regime, otherwise consumers will not get the advice they need.
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