The IFA label represents an "irretrievably damaged brand" and should be "consigned to history", according to a pensions report released today.
Titled Put the Saver First and written by pensions analyst Michael Johnson, the report argues that IFAs should forget about "advice" and focus on "financial planning".
The report, which has been reviewed by Conservative and Labour peers, aims to catalyse a savings culture in the UK, a shift it argues is currently impeded by an under-performing and partially dysfunctional retirement savings industry.
It argues that the UK's household savings ratio (HSR) which averages just 6% (compared with a European ratio of 15%) is low in part because of widespread public enmity towards the industry where renumerations have been excessive and returns have fallen.
To attempt the address this issue, the paper argues that independent financial advisers should move from thinking about "advice" to "financial planning."
Second, it argued that financial planners should be sub-categorised in a way that describes what they actually do - this may be related to the type of service they offer or the products they deal with.
In addition, the report said that the financial adviser community should set its sights on attaining QCF Level 6 if it wants to be perceived as truly professional and respected on a par with accountants and lawyers.
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