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Level 4 not enough, IFP chief exec says

Some advisers just coasting under RDR guidelines but clients need more, Cann says

By Laura Suter | Published Oct 03, 2012 | comments

Meeting the RDR requirements of level four is “not sufficient” to properly service clients and chartered should become the minimum expectation, the IFP’s Nick Cann has said.

Speaking at the institute’s annual conference, Cann said that many firms are not going far enough to rise to the challenge of the new regulatory limits.

“Many in the market have done little more than reach the new level four requirements and some of those are only just coasting in under the deadline,” he said.

“Level four is ok but is not sufficient to deliver high-value financial planning,” Cann added, saying that over time the CFP certification “should be the minimum expectation”.

The chief executive said that the lack of commission post-RDR is proving a hard concept for some advisers to grasp, as many “are not yet ready to deal with a market where the client has to pay directly for the advice that they receive”.

Cann also predicted that the IFP’s accredited financial planning firm register, which was launched a year ago, has the potential to transform the marketplace.

He said the FSA is looking for business models and cultures it understands, with the accredited firms offering “a more consistent business model capable of delivering a proper Financial Planning service”.

Speaking earlier at the conference, incoming president Becky Taylor echoed Cann’s concerns about firms being ready to move to adviser charging, “The real issue for many is how they are going to charge fees and what they are going to offer that will be worth paying for.”

She added that the future of the organisation is looking bright. “I share the same vision as every one of you, where financial planning will no longer be the preserve of those ‘in the know’ but will become the norm.”

Taylor is now president of the institute for the next two years, having been voted in by members, and takes over from Marlene Shalton who took on the job two years ago.

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