Raising standards of professionalism
The latest update from the Personal Finance Society (PFS) shows fantastic progress towards higher standards of professionalism.
With the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) taking place at the end of next year, all financial advisers need to meet a higher minimum standard of professional qualifications.
The PFS figures show that this movement is taking place at a rapidly growing rate.
Membership of the PFS has risen by 10% over the past year. They now have 28,200 members in total.
There are now 2,250 individual Chartered Financial Planners. This is the pinnacle of professional qualifications and we are very proud here at Informed Choice to have five Chartered Financial Planners in our team.
The number of firms of Chartered Financial Planners has risen by 17% over the past year. There are now 300 firms of Chartered Financial Planners in the UK. Informed Choice became the 99th firm of Chartered Financial Planners in December 2007, shortly after this standard became available.
The PFS is also reporting excellent progress towards the new mandatory level 4 qualification, the Diploma level.
Over 17,700 individual members of the PFS have already met this new minimum standard. Of those still needing to reach this level, 50% already have one or more Diploma modules completed.
There is clearly a great deal of demand for this new qualification standard, with the PFS experiencing a 65% increase in the number of individuals sitting Diploma or Advanced Diploma exams in 2010.
One of the most promising findings from the PFS is that 85% of members intend to carry on as ‘independent’ advisers once the new regulations come into force at the end of next year.
Only 10% intend on leaving the advice market at this time. Whilst still a high number, this represents a much lower percentage of advisers threatening to leave their roles in the face of new regulations than some of the scaremongers will have us believe.
We are very pleased to see these promising statistics from our professional body. It is great to see raising standards of professionalism across the retail financial services market; something that can only benefit consumers of financial advice.