Personal Finance Society  

PFS to launch diversity initiative

PFS to launch diversity initiative

The Personal Finance Society will be launching an initiative to improve diversity in the financial planning profession next year.

Speaking at the PFS's conference in London, the professional body's chief executive, Keith Richards, said diversity and inclusion were not just good in themselves - they would also help advisers connect with prospective clients.

He said: "We want to be more inclusive and we are going to start a new programme next year to support members on what can be subconscious biases.

"Some advisers also find it difficult to promote how they are diverse and inclusive.

"Many of us talk about millennials, but we need to be diverse because the public is diverse and we need a profession that can reach out to every member of the public."

Mr Richards also stressed the importance of advisers engaging in pro-bono work such as the PFS's MoneyPlan and Forces MoneyPlan initiatives, where advisers offer their services through either the Citizens Advice Bureau for the former or armed forces charities for the latter.

He said the Forces MoneyPlan initiative, which was launched 2016, had proved so successful more charities wanted to get on board, including the RAF Benevolent Fund and Blesma.

Mr Richards said: "[Taking part in these initiatives] demonstrates you have formal pro-bono programmes. The government and policy makers really do pay attention to this, as do members of the public when you are giving something back to the people they admire."

He added the PFS was in discussions with the Ministry of Defence about setting up a programme to help those leaving the armed forces to go into financial planning as a second career.

Mr Richards pointed out that membership of the PFS had increased to almost 40,000 since the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review at the end of 2012, despite predictions it would fall.

damian.fantato@ft.com