Keith Richards: 'Well over 4,000 advisers have signed up to Consumer Duty Alliance'

Keith Richards: 'Well over 4,000 advisers have signed up to Consumer Duty Alliance'

Promoting good practice, giving the advice sector an opportunity to demonstrate the vital role it plays and creating a collective of advice professionals are all goals of the new Consumer Duty Alliance.

Appearing on this week’s FTAdviser podcast, Keith Richards, CEO of the alliance and former CEO of the Personal Finance Society, told FTAdviser the new body was not created to replicate or duplicate what other organisations in personal finance already do.

Instead the CDA wants to “create a platform for an alliance to effectively unite the bodies together and to provide an effective platform for professional development across the sector”, he said.

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FTAdviser revealed earlier this month that Richards had launched the Consumer Duty Alliance

The new body brings together industry experts such as Nick Cann, Ian McKenna and Johnny Timpson, and consists of various forums promoting financial planning, consumer duty champions, and technology, that sit beneath the CDA umbrella.

“Consumer duty is something that gives the sector an opportunity to demonstrate the vital role that it provides, not just to existing clients, but more broadly to society,” Richards said on the podcast.

“The regulators have indicated that if they can see a change as a result of reform that they aim not to be as prescriptive in the future.

"Now most advisers will argue that they're over regulated, and I would agree, because regulation is set to try to address deficiencies and so by definition, good firms are often having to do things just to address the impact of a small minority.”

He added: “We genuinely have an opportunity now to take a role in providing that platform that allows the whole sector to act as individuals, but also as part of the collected alliance of professionals.”

Russell Facer, CEO of Threesixty Services and an early affiliate of the alliance, said many firms were happy to share ideas and thoughts and learn from each other because “people do make mistakes along the way”.

“From our perspective it is that ability to vocalise,” he said. “I think the alliance has a real ability to bring people together.”

Richards told FTAdviser there were already many individuals, and established firms, signing up to become members of the alliance.

“We've already got well over 4,000 advisers that are part of the alliance, and that number is growing rapidly as each day passes.”

Also appearing on the podcast, Ian McKenna, CEO of FTRC and chair of the Consumer Duty Alliance technology forum, said the response to the CDA had “been overwhelmingly positive, both from advisers and from technology suppliers asking what they can do to help.”

He said: “The thing that resonates is that several people have said this is meeting a void that exists in the marketplace. There are a number of areas that aren't properly catered for and the structure that Keith put together seems ideal for filling those gaps.