Many of you would have read about recent comments made by
the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane, who wrongly
suggested that financial advisers had "no clue" about recent
changes to pension regulation.
At a time when the profession continues to make great progress,
such a broad and sweeping statement from a senior figure within the
BoE undermines efforts to restore public confidence and trust in
the profession. Even if only intended to emphasis the complexity of
the market, the comments are offensive to advisers and equally
flies in the face of the government's decision to mandate
professional advice within pension reforms.
Mr Haldane's comments demonstrate a lack of fact-based insight,
knowledge of the market and consideration of public best interests,
and so I have written to the BoE for an explanation of the grounds
for and timing of the misinformed remarks.
A recent survey conducted for the Personal Finance Society
revealed that the trust and confidence of consumers who use
financial advice has increased by 40% since 2013. In 2013, 43% of
advised consumers said they trusted the financial advice sector,
jumping to 60% earlier this year.
The profession has made great progress in starting the journey
of restoring public confidence and trust, but Mr Haldane's
comments, which were front page news, clearly demonstrate the
additional challenges. At a time when consumers need access to
professional advice more than ever before, it remains one of the
Society's core objectives to raise awareness of the importance and
value of professional advice.
By opening communication channels, I hope to gain a better
understanding of any concerns the BoE might have, and work together
to improve public education and awareness of the importance of
pension and retirement planning.
From the boardroom
On Wednesday 25th May, the Board of the Personal
Finance Society held one of its final meetings before the
appointment of two new member-nominated directors.
The potential impact of FAMR's 28 recommendations was a major
focus of our strategy discussions ahead of consultation meetings
I'll be participating in with the FCA and Treasury.
Earlier last week, the nominations committee kicked off a series
of interviews for the two member-nominated director positions being
vacated by outgoing directors David Ingram and David Thomas who
have both served the maximum term of office.
The final interview stage concludes on Thursday and I look
forward to announcing the successful candidates at the AGM on
I want to thank both Davids for the contributions they've made
to the Personal Finance Society, including the introduction of
their respective Presidential themes of 'Pro-bono' and 'good
practice', during an exciting and successful period of evolution of
FSCS consultation kicks off
As previewed in the last edition of My PFS, the FCA hosted the
first FAMR consultation meeting on Friday 27th May to
discuss its review of the FSCS funding system. I had earlier met
with the FCA and FSCS for pre-consultation discussions but Friday's
meeting was the first as part of a formal consultation phase.
In attendance was a broad cross-representation of the sector
with active debate on the various alternatives being considered,
although a widely supported product levy was confirmed to be out of
scope of the review as it would require legislative change.
The review will however be comprehensive in its broader
considerations and include the fairness of current classes, scale
of impact on firms as well as the impact on the scheme from sectors
that don't currently contribute, or don't contribute enough.
Risk based or smoothing mechanism approaches were highlighted as
two potential solutions to consider as part of the FAMR
recommendations, especially as the latter would address the
unwelcome impact of unpredictable additional levies throughout the
The fact that FSCS funding reform is the first consultation to
be launched, demonstrates how seriously the FCA/HMT have taken
industry feedback and implemented this key review as one of the
first of 28 FAMR consultations.
We would encourage members to actively and professionally
contribute constructive views and ideas as the consultation phase
continues. The profession has a key role to play in helping to
shape a fairer FSCS funding system and everyone has an opportunity
to input to the consultation, either directly or via their
respective organisation or representative body.
We welcome member views and ideas - please direct any
constructive feedback to: email@example.com
Finally, as part of this year's revamped annual awards
programme, the Personal Finance Society has opened entries to an
extended list of practitioner prizes.
We recognise there are members right across the country who
dedicate themselves to developing a superior level of expertise in
specialist areas of advice and we wanted to formally pay tribute by
including a range of new accolades at this year's newly named
Personal Finance Awards.
Excellence in retirement and later life advice, investment
advice and mortgage and protection advice will be recognised with
new awards, adding to the chartered financial planning firm,
paraplanner and flagship chartered financial planner of the year
To see the full list of categories and to enter, please visit www.thepfs.org/pfsawards.
Entries close 12th August. Good luck!
About the Blog
In this blog Personal Finance Society CEO Keith Richards will be
keeping you up-to-date with all the Personal Finance Society news,
projects and initiatives that we have in the works.
Read past editions of the blog »