Apfa’s Hannant admits ‘we can’t do it alone’

Apfa’s Hannant admits ‘we can’t do it alone’

Chris Hannant, director general at the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, has issued a rallying cry, urging advisers to get behind the trade body if they want their voices to be heard,

Mr Hannant said 2016 will be an important year for the advice profession and advisers need to support his trade body.

His comments come just weeks after rival trade body Libertatem launched a campaign to raise £50,000 by Christmas in order to lobby the government over Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies.

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Launching the campaign, Garry Heath, director general of Libertatem, said: “IFAs have nodded off. They are not members of Apfa. Hardly anyone is a member of a trade association. Advisers are sleepwalking to the end of the year.”

Speaking to FTAdviser Mr Hannant hit back by saying Apfa will continue to make the adviser voice heard and get the best outcomes it can.

But he added “we can’t do it alone.”

Mr Hannant said: “We need all the support we can get from advisers, who can make a difference by joining and getting involved.

“Evidence is crucial to changing minds in government, at the FCA and in Parliament, so we need to hear from you about how things affect your business. 2016 will be a very important year for advisers – don’t let the opportunity to have your say pass by.”

Mr Hannant said the Financial Advice Market Review could bring some fundamental changes in the way advice is given.

It was back in October that the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury launched an input paper giving advisers until 22 December to explain what puts them off offering advice.

Mr Hannant said the question the FAMR poses on one level is simple – why are there gaps in people being able to get financial advice?

But he said as you break down the problem, the answer is complex and a solution doesn’t come down to any one thing.

Mr Hannant said: “Citizens Advice research indicates over five million people wanting and willing to pay for financial advice, but who are priced out of the market at present.

“This points to the need to reduce the cost of delivering financial advice. Apfa’s cost of regulation survey indicates that on average regulation comprises about 12 per cent of the cost of advice.

“Apfa has pressed for reducing regulatory costs by bringing in a longstop for complaints to Financial Ombudsman Service; reforming Financial Services Compensation Scheme funding to ensure a fairer share of the burden is borne across the financial services sector; and setting up a proper independent appeal process for the Fos.

“So the conclusions of FAMR will be the big issue for the first half of 2016. The evolving pension framework will be another.”

Scanning the horizon, Mr Hannant said there is a lot else going on in the world of advice.

The banning of payments to platforms and the effect on trail commission will be felt in April.