Letter: Where’s the good pay for IFAs?

Andrew Oliver

There seems to be an acceptance that it is perfectly all right for everyone else to get well paid for what they do, but not financial advisers. Financial advisers had to either take additional exams or engage in knowledge gap-fill just to keep their jobs or remain in business as a result of RDR, and yet others can get paid generous salaries with excellent benefits, but with no qualifications and no risk.

Post-RDR, the remuneration of IFAs is under close scrutiny. But having had a major upheaval in our industry and – rather than now having a settling in period – it is like the whole thing needs changing again with concerns about dealing with bias, charging, provider-facilitated fee payments and the possible ending of trail commission.

Writing as one who entered the industry 35 years ago (having experienced 10 years without regulation and 25 years with), as someone who did their financial planning certificate in 1991, and has 222 learning credits through the CII (140 needed for diploma level four for RDR); with just 68 learning credits needed to apply for chartered status, one starts to think, ‘What is the point?’. There are now participants in the industry that were not even born when I started That probably makes us the last of a dying breed.

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As an industry that once employed some 300,000 men and women as advisers – which is now down to around 20,000 – we wonder why we have a protection, pension, savings and advice gap.

I had thought about retiring in about four years’ time, selling my practice and calling it a day at age 62. After reading the Fos article, I feel like calling it a day at 58. I do not have a problem with hard work or being accountable. I do not have a problem with the quest for greater professionalism and higher standards.

However, I do have a problem when it appears that there is a view that it is perfectly all right for everyone else to having a good income for what they do (justified or not), but not financial advisers.

Andrew Oliver


Andrew Oliver & Co