Emma Ann Hughes 

Caught between FCA rock and hard faced lawyers

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

Being a financial adviser is a bit like being manager of the England football team - everybody seems to think they know how to do your job better than you.

I came to this conclusion after watching England reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and seeing regulators and lawyers line up in Port Talbot to tell financial advisers how to do their job.

Regulators and lawyers said advisers should record all their conversations with clients and carefully draft their terms and conditions of business to create strong files.

Pension transfer advisers were told by a solicitor representing British Steel workers that this was what was needed for advisers to protect themselves from future claims.

All of this advice for advisers was common sense but it just made me think about how we now live in a world where everyone feels they are entitled to an opinion about how someone should do a job – rather than weed out those incapable of doing a good job and letting those who can just get on with it.

Adviser Chris 38 responded to the remarks made by the solicitor representing British Steel workers in FTAdviser’s comments section with: “I want to live in a world where I can say 'Mr Client, I don't care about anything other than protecting you and your family’s wellbeing and making you as much money as possible.'”

Instead, Chris 38 notes financial advisers easily spend about 50 per cent of their time on compliance, terms of business, initial disclosure documents, report writing, due diligence, etc.

If Gareth Southgate had spent his time reading what other people thought he should be doing, he would have spent the World Cup and the months leading up to it doing what his predecessors have done for the last two decades.

Mr Southgate would have spent his time catering to diva-like players rather than building a team that were united in one thing – scoring lots of goals and showing the world that England are a team that could win.

Like Mr Southgate, who fought his way up to top division football and failed to let missing a penalty in 1996 push him away from a game he loves, there is very little financial advisers operating in this industry for more than a decade haven’t experienced.

Mr Southgate did so well because he relied on his own common sense, decency, knowledge and experience, so he didn’t let all the chattering voices distract him from his ultimate goal.

He is a decent person who pushed for the best result.

An achievement that should be saluted.

The best result for anyone wanting help with their finances is regulation that weeds out anyone with a money grabbing, self-serving agenda out of the industry and allows decent, experienced, well qualified individuals to get on and do their job.