Letter: Independence doesn’t trump ability

Philip Stevenson

Sesame group is wrestling with the same issue and may be trying to shoehorn its members into a restricted proposition, like all the other networks. But this move appears to be almost universally condemned by the majority of advisers in the country who see the “independent” tag as being central to their client proposition. But are advisers being realistic or honest with themselves?

Surely in order to demonstrate true independence one must have a greater understanding of the marketplace than that offered by the level 4 qualification, which is the limit of achievement of more than 50 per cent of advisers. To be able to advise on the more complex elements of financial planning, one needs to be able to demonstrate one has the tools to do the job.

For all those who are not in that position, the issue should not be whether the regulator describes them as restricted or independent, but how they are able to satisfy their clients’ needs as either a restricted or independent adviser. If they need to be independent then they should demonstrate that capability.

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Philip D Stevenson

Chartered Financial Planner

ARK Financial Planning

Stalybridge, Cheshire