Personal Finance Society  

PFS members call for CEO role to be reinstated

PFS members call for CEO role to be reinstated

Members of the Personal Financial Society have called for the chief executive role to remain and want the professional body to work better with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The Chartered Insurance Institute published the findings to its 'shaping the future together' consultation today (February 28) which sought feedback on how the PFS and the CII currently operate, and how the personal finance and insurance professions can work together to raise standards and secure public trust.

Feedback from members revealed a preference for the PFS to remain part of the CII group, but with greater collaboration between the boards and a "new leader empowered to raise public trust in the profession".

There was consensus on the need for a leader of the PFS who could achieve effective engagement with the government, regulators and media.

Robin Melley, chartered financial planner at Matrix Capital, said: “Engagement with government and regulators was strong when the PFS had a CEO in post and the strongest it had ever been between 2013 until June last year, since then it's fallen off the edge of a cliff. 

“The PFS is a dedicated professional membership body that has played a key role in the advice profession post-RDR, whereas the CII is a qualifications body that seems confused about its role and purpose.”

Some of the reasons members chose to stay part of the CII group included access to CII exams, chartered titles, continuing professional development, and being able to work together on common areas of interest, such as raising public trust and professional standards, among other things.

Sarah Lord, president of the PFS, said: “The Personal Finance Society board would like to thank all members who contributed their views through the consultation; we remain focused on delivering the services that best meet the needs and expectations of our members, championing the value of professional advice and ensuring the best possible outcomes for clients.

“We also look forward to engaging with the Chartered Insurance Institute on common areas of interest that include raising professional standards and improving public confidence and trust.”

As part of the consultation feedback more broadly, the CII said it provides a clear steer on the services and support insurance and personal finance professionals need and want.

Members said they would like to see streamlined qualifications, modern assessment methods and the introduction of behavioural content provided the focus on technical knowledge is not diluted.

Members also said there was a need for a focus on raising public trust through the promotion of professional standards and increasing confidence that member misconduct will be addressed.

Helen Phillips, chair of CII board, said: “In the coming months, the CII’s board will use consultation feedback to help inform the next five-year strategy for our professional body, so that we build on the long and proud history that underpins our Royal Charter to 'secure and justify the confidence of the public' in the insurance and personal finance profession.