It's not often I praise the FSA but I must say the concept of insisting advisers dress according to a certain code makes complete sense to me.
Following IFAonline's story today about the regulator proposing independent advisers wear neutral colours, restricted advisers don red and multi-ties "mix and match", I really think we could be on to something here.
The public has become well-used to the traffic light system with regards food - so why not use it for financial advice?
There is an old adage - if you look the part, you'll act the part - and I think the public expects that of advisers.
It also makes complete sense if you think of it in the context of solicitors and accountants.
They tend to dress in sober, dull, conservative clothing and that reassures the public that, while they may be boring, they do a good job sorting out dull legal and tax issues.
I'd like to see the FSA being more prescriptive and issuing strict guidelines depending on the nature of the conversation with a client and if this requires an adviser changing the colour of his or her suit a number of times during a single client meeting.
If this comes into practice, which I hope it will, then surely advisers should be able to reclaim the cost of different coloured suits as a tax-deductible item!
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