A debate has fired up on the IFAonline discussion boards which question statements made recently by both the FSA and the FOS, and whether they could be seen as shifting the goalposts on regulation.
Arguments made by commentators question whether the FSA is seeking to change the rules about retrospection again when Sarah Wilson said IFAs should review their clients to ensure they are prepared for changes in pensions rules ahead of A-Day.
What is striking in this debate is discussion suggests most small IFA firms now state in their terms of business they do not give ongoing advice to clients unless it is specifically asked for.
Has the definition of financial advice, as many firms see it, changed?
After so much industry emphasis on delivering a service to consumers, IFAs appear to be arguing they ONLY deliver a post-advice consumer service after product purchases have been made when requested by the client.
One could argue this perspective runs dangerously close to past stereotypes of IFAs when financial advisers were seen as nothing more than sellers of financial products.
At the same time, it might be possible to argue with all the pressure on financial intermediaries to meet constantly changing regulation, it is not surprising adviser firms want to limit the advice they are prepared to deliver.
But what do you think? Is this a fair reflection of the independent financial advice sector?
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