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Backstage with Keith Richards

13th October 2015

Full steam ahead with FAMR.


The past fortnight has been as busy as always; with Autumn getting into full swing, the Rugby World Cup progressing but sadly without England, and the latest announcements on the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR). The FAMR paper issued yesterday marks an important and promising first step for the future of professional advice and increasing access for the public. The challenge continues to be how we, as a profession, can operate efficiently, fairly and profitably but ensuring that the needs of our clients are firmly fixed at the centre of everything we do. The ability to offer your expertise to those who need it most but without the uncertainty of regulatory backlash or your business becoming unsustainable due to unplanned regulatory cost and FSCS levies. Here at the Personal Finance Society we continue to be actively involved in the process with Treasury, Department of Work and Pensions and the FCA. We will keep our members informed of developments and encourage your contribution either to us:, or directly to the review.

On 1 October I was invited to chair a panel discussion at the FCA's robo-advice event in London. I must say that I went into this event with a perception of robo-advice; the part it could play in the marketplace and the pros and cons of this type of service; and I came away from the event having learnt a lot about the potential future of this form of advice solution. I think there is absolutely a place for forms of robo-advice to be integrated in to the advice process, but we do need to be careful about introducing too much automation. Whilst there are time and cost-effective ways that technology can help, ultimately every client is different and we must assess their needs and objectives individually.

Last week I travelled up to Birmingham to speak at one of FTAdviser's Retirement Freedoms Forums. Being part of these large industry events is really important, particularly when the sector is experiencing so much change, as not only does it allow me the chance to speak to the adviser community directly and get their views and insight; I also get to hear from other organisations and to understand common issues.

Last Friday, I was honoured to speak at our Personal Finance Society Graduation Ceremony and to present the graduates with their certificates. It really does bring into focus the good work that our members are doing; to further their knowledge and to progress and grow in their careers in financial services. Getting to meet so many of our members on such a happy, celebratory day is a treat that I consider to be one of the highlights of my role as Chief Executive. I'd just like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate all our members who have successfully completed their qualifications this year and to wish those who are currently taking their exams the very best of luck.

Best wishes,


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 »