Paul Smee, director general of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers says the associatio...
Paul Smee, director general of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers says the association stands behind the idea of a tier of advisers focused on basic advice for lower income earners, but today added that he would like to see some tweaks to the relevant proposals put forward in CP121.
The "second tier" financial advisers identified in CP121 should be reclassified by the FSA as practitioners of "focused advice" AIFA says, to avoid the stigma associated with the current description and to reflect the particular skills that those advising lower income earnings will have to take on board.
This distinction should also be reflected in the new training and competency rules being developed, to enable the construction of educational modules particular to the needs of "focused" advisers.
This could in turn help attract "a new generation of advisers" into an industry noted for the high average age of current practitioners.
AIFA again warns that many current practitioners remain to be convinced of the advantages of existing depolarisation proposals, but the new practitioners and client base that "focused" advisers would bring should be a benefit to the industry.
"AIFA recognises that the introduction of differentiated advice needs careful handling, but it also has the possibility of offering opportunities to IFAs which should be grasped," it says.
Another piece of the jigsaw is simplified factfinding, which AIFA says is a worthy objective that should also leave room for less costly handling of repeat business from already established clients.
A defined range of low-risk and flexible products would also help, as this could enable standardised transactions - hopefully lower cost too.
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