In recent weeks I have been overwhelmed with the response from
PFS members to a number of our recently launched initiatives.
Hundreds of you have signed up to our national anti-scamming
campaign, pledging to spend 15 minutes each month scouring press,
web and telephone promotions to help identify and report potential
This initiative is particularly important, given that financial
advisers are best placed to spot potential scams, which are posing
a greater threat than ever to all of our families, friends, clients
and the wider public. Just being more alert and reporting potential
scams is a key public service - Thank You!
Earlier this month, we launched Aspire - a new
financial adviser development programme which combines
apprenticeship funding with PFS sponsorship to support employers of
aspiring financial advisers.
We have already fielded well in excess of 200 registrations of
interest for this programme, which will play a critical role in
developing the next generation of financial advisers, and support
the growing need for sector-wide succession planning.
Last week we were busy responding to two consultations, offering
an opportunity for us to renew calls for improved consumer
Firstly, in our response to the Treasury's consultation on
banning cold calling, we urged the Government to broaden the ban
across all electronic communications including uninvited emails,
texts, promotional brochures and social media. We also suggested
the ban cover general investments as well as pensions.
Our second response was to the Government's consultation on
creating a single public financial guidance body, in which we
renewed our calls for the term 'advice' to be removed from all
branding, marketing and communications associated with the
formation of the new body.
Currently the Pension Guidance Service is delivered through The
Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and general money guidance
provided by Money Advice service (MAS) - we are calling for the
introduction of accurate, clear and not misleading branding and
The creation of a new single guidance body offers the perfect
opportunity to clearly differentiate the services offered by the
new body from those offered by a regulated professional adviser, by
aligning terminology and using the term 'advice' only when
specifically referring to regulated financial advice provided by a
professional financial adviser. A guidance service should be named
a 'guidance service' for consistency and over time the
differentiation should become better established and intuitive for
We believe these two measures would serve the interests of
consumers, firstly through improved protection against innovative
scammers, and secondly through improved clarity of terminology.
THANKING OUR VOLUNTEERS
Earlier this month, more than 120 regional officers, PFS staff
and board members congregated at Oulton Hall near Leeds, to
formally recognise the contribution made by volunteers who support
PFS activities at a local level each year.
The annual Officers' Conference also offered an opportunity for
regional committees to discuss their plans for the year ahead, to
network and to engage with a range of key speakers.
Nine new chairpersons have been elected to lead their regions
this year, with a growing group of close to 150 education officers,
membership officers, Chartered Champions and committee members
lending their support in the year ahead.
Each year, regional officers volunteer their time to support the
Society's events, CPD and other activities, representing an
essential resource for assisting members at a local level and for
maintaining the future growth and professional standing of the PFS.
Click here to get in touch with a member
of your local committee.
ROBO: THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY
On Thursday, the Society will host a conference in conjunction
with the European Financial Planning Association (EFPA) on the
topic of Robo Advice: Threat or Opportunity.
We will welcome over 40 visitors from across Europe at our Great
Hall in London, where close to 200 attendees will have the chance
to hear from a range of experts on the impact of technology on
modern financial advice.
The debate on robo advice has intensified in recent weeks, and
earlier this month I took part in a panel discussion on BBC Radio
4's Money Box programme to discuss the pros and cons of the growing
influence of modern technology.
It was pleasing to hear from the FCA's director of strategy and
competition, Christopher Woolard, who reassured the sector that the
regulator was focused on ensuring that consumers were offered a
robust package of protections with regard to the use of automated
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 »