A dozen financial services organisations have met to discuss their concerns and share their objectives and initiatives in an attempt to "harness the untapped potential of working collaboratively".
The Personal Finance Society (PFS) hosted, among others, the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP), Association of British Insurers and Investment Management Association (IMA) to form the first post-Retail Distribution Review ‘united profession' working group.
The unintended consequences of regulation, the savings gap and the role and reach of the Money Advice Service were among the topics discussed at the inaugural get-together on 4 February.
PFS chief executive Keith Richards, who said he expected more organisations to join the founding 12 before its next meeting, said: "The group represents an opportunity to harness the untapped potential of working collaboratively.
"Whilst each organisation involved will have different and sometimes opposing objectives, the willingness amongst the group to be more united is encouraging and can only lead to better outcomes for all. As a sector, we face a number of common challenges and opportunities, so it makes good sense to support each other wherever possible and better understand where potential conflict can be avoided."
The group agreed to provide support and build on initiatives already underway, such as the IFP's Financial Planning Week.
IMA director of communications Annette Spencer said: "Although we represent different parts of the financial services spectrum and its stakeholder groups, it was interesting to learn about the range of positive and aligned initiatives being undertaken by the many trade and professional bodies in attendance.
"If the ‘united' group can meet regularly, we believe other opportunities to increase consumer understanding and promote the value of the financial sector will naturally emerge."
The united profession working group founders:
Association of British Insurers
Association of Investment Companies
Association of Mortgage Intermediaries
Association of Professional Financial Advisers
Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment
Council of Mortgage Lenders
Institute of Financial Planning
ifs University College
Investment Management Association
Personal Finance Society
Society of Mortgage Professionals
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