James Coney  

Advisers should offer interest-free credit to clients

James Coney

James Coney

It is not the only solution to solving some of the problems, but it is a stride forward to making services more consumer friendly.  

Time for financial advice companies to start to think more laterally and more creatively to grow their industry.

Advisers must find their collective voice

Financial advisers desperately need a union or a powerful trade body. It has been clear for years now that the cost of regulation was crippling, and the argument that the cost of the FSCS should be shared among pension and investment companies, because many benefitted from the mis-selling of failed advice companies, is certainly a valid one.

But there is nobody significant banging the drum for their cause in the corridors of power – either in Westminster or at the regulator.

News flash for the bloggers, vloggers, and Twitter users – it does not matter what you say online, you are only preaching in an echo chamber to a limited number of like-minded people. It is great for shared experiences, but the masses and the decision-makers are not listening.

Someone needs to be out there lobbying. The most powerful person in the industry at the moment is Andrew Croft, the chief executive of St James’s Place, who could hold real sway – but his voice is often silent, perhaps because of the way SJP is regarded by other advice businesses.

Advisers need some friends in government, and fast.

Build-to-rent companies are not all equal

What a clever PR strategy the build-to-rent sector is involved in. They have convinced us they are offering socially responsible investments.

But not all companies are equal, and some are simply buying up homes that first-time buyers and families could otherwise have afforded.

There is a distinct lack of clarity about what is really happening in this fast-growing sector.

Watch this space.

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times.