Tony Hazell (FA, 6 Nov) is spot on in asking why we were absent from the committee debate on the pensions bill: “What does it say of MPs’ attitudes to IFAs that none were called?” The answer is, I suspect, that they simply do not want to hear our views.
I have explained to a senior Conservative MP at the treasury, that the low average size of the typical at retirement pensions pot means that the majority of people cannot afford professional, independent and impartial advice. Many have less than complex financial situations and would probably not benefit from paying. And yet, the government wants the adviser community to fund the cost of the guidance guarantee service.
They did not consult on this (not one of the ten consultation questions asked about funding). They simply leapt to the statement that government would levy the financial services industry to pay for the service and then handed that task over to the FCA.
I am afraid that our reputation is tarnished among politicians and policymakers to the extent that they do not want to hear from us. There is no leadership as far as the IFA community is concerned to fight against this attitude. I am afraid we are all fighting a rearguard action and simply now have to react to whatever is thrown at us.
Depressing, is it not?
Chartered financial planner, executive director, Informed Choice, Cranleigh, Surrey