Chartered Insurance Institute  

PFS planning panel split on future after CII clash

PFS planning panel split on future after CII clash

A member of the PFS’s financial planning panel has said she does not want to turn her back on “all the good work” the panel has done, amid a number of resignations following tensions with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Sarah Elson, chartered financial planner and co-founder of Berry & Oak, told FTAdviser she would like the panel to continue “in some shape or form”.

“We have had some fantastic successes with [the panel], getting it to a really good position to help train people, the resources are amazing and I do not want to walk away and undo all that good work,” she said.

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“The aim of it is to provide education and to help people, and I would like to see if if there is some shape or form [in which] it can continue.

“That is why I am still on the panel at the moment.”

Elson continued that the situation is up in the air, and “like anything”, there are two sides to any story.

She added: “I do not condone the way people have apparently been treated [by the CII].”

A number of members of the PFS planning panel, including its chair, Alasdair Walker, have resigned over the recent furore between the CII and PFS.

Walker said earlier this week (January 9) that he does not feel he can carry on supporting the PFS as a volunteer while there are so many unanswered questions about the CII’s “hostile” takeover attempt.

Benjamin Beck, an IFA at Integrity 365 has also resigned from the panel.

In a statement seen by FTAdviser, Beck said he believes professional bodies should operate with the highest standards of behaviour and set an example to the profession.

“I feel that the current, very public situation between the CII and PFS is letting our profession down," he said. 

“Individual PFS member volunteers give a lot of their time to make the PFS what it is.”

Beck added that each member volunteer will make their own decision as to whether they are willing to support the CII at this time by continuing to provide their services for free to “an organisation that is failing to set the correct example”. 

“I have made my decision and with regret, resigned my position on the PFS Panel.”

Tensions between the two organisations heightened in December last year after the CII announced it was to appoint a majority of directors to the PFS board, alleging failed mediation attempts and poor governance issues.

The institute also appointed three institute directors to the PFS board with immediate effect.

The PFS strongly denied the claims.

The move prompted the president of the PFS, Caroline Stuart, to step down, citing the “tremendous stress and pressure” put on the PFS’s board by the CII.