The managing director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Martin Wheatley, last night congratulated advisers for retaining the trust of their clients, explaining this is the industry's "great strength."
The comments were made in a speech delivered to delegates at the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) gala dinner.
Much of the rest of the speech referred to big changes in the industry marking "a new style of regulation".
The big changes Wheatley referred to were, unsurprisingly, the Retail Distribution Review, and the regulator's split into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).
Wheatley explained that these changes would herald a new style of regulation with "fairness at the heart of the regulator's decision making".
He added that the regulator was "being asked to operate differently" without revealing by whom, and said that instead of collating and analysing data, it would adopt a more "forward looking" approach.
"We will discuss with you where the industry is going and how your business models are developing. We will discuss problems as they emerge."
The changes to the regulator and regulatory environment would see a need for a new level of trust, said Wheatley.
He said: "The great strength of your sector is that by and large you have not lost that trust. You are close to and understand your clients, and you know that you cannot treat them simply as profit centres.
"Unfortunately that hasn't been the case for every part of the industry. I hope that much of the rest of the industry can learn the importance of putting the consumer at the heart of their business."
Chairman of APFA, Lord Deben, delivered a speech before Wheatley's in which he discussed the need for ordinary people to focus on savings; the societal need for a strong financial services sector, the moral purpose of such a sector, and the fact that the industry should push to help society regain and recover its natural propensity to save.
Wheatley said he agreed with Deben's comments and added: "We need to look at what society and people need from the financial services sector, and we will work closely with you to help deliver [this]."
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