SimplyBiz has come out in defence of IFAs after Treasury minister Mark Hoban today said advisers were no more qualifed than McDonald's shift workers.
In a House of Commons debate on the regulation of IFAs this morning, Hoban said the current minimum financial adviser qualification is "at the same level as a diploma in shift management offered by McDonald's".
He said this was not enough, as the products "being sold by IFAs are infinitely more complex and long lasting in their effects than a Big Mac".
The comments have sparked anger in the adviser community.
Matthew Timmins, SimplyBiz's managing director, says Hoban's comments and refusal to take questions from the floor reveal a lack of knowledge about financial services.
It also points to a lack of interaction with his constituents, says Timmins.
"His inflammatory comparison of IFAs to McDonald's workers is offensive to the thousands of advisers who work tirelessly to provide clients with an important and professional service.
"How can we improve the perception of advisers amongst the public when senior politicians are making this type of absurd comment?"
If Hoban had consulted his constituents on the issue, Timmins says he suspects the minister would have received the same feedback as the 13 other MPs who raised concerns during the debate.
"If Mr Hoban had been aware of the facts - that IFAs were accountable for only 2% of complaints received by the Ombudsman Service in 2009/10, according to IFAonline on 19 May, in sharp contrast to the 61% which were received against banks - he may have delivered his comments with more respect."
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