An independent report commissioned by the Chartered Insurance Institute Group supports the Financial Services Authoritys thinking on the professionalism of advisers.
The report from Deloitte and Touche, which was submitted to the FSA two months ago and made public today, shows CII members strongly advocate a framework to raise standards for the public benefit and encourage professionalism and trust across the intermediary sector.
Around 90% of the CII Group membership believe the future prosperity of the financial services industry depends on achieving parity with other professions such as accountants and lawyers.
Sandy Scott, director-general of the CII, says: Our members believe that – despite areas of best practice – the quality of financial advice and professional standards and competence must increase significantly.
The FSAs discussion paper is a valuable starting point for the debate on improving levels of professionalism throughout the industry.
But the changes have to be more than just cosmetic if we are to improve the industrys reputation and regain public trust.
For those individuals who have already gained the platinum-plated professional qualification of chartered status, we must make sure this achievement is not diluted.
For members who need to upskill, we will provide every assistance and opportunity to help them do so.
We look forward to engaging with our membership, consumer advice groups, other relevant stakeholders and the regulator on this issue in the coming months.
Among many recommendations, the CII report suggests clearly defined tiers of service from professional through to primary or generic advice.