Following last week's criticism of the advice sector by Money
Advice Service (MAS) chief executive, Caroline Rookes, the Personal
Finance Society has received a full apology on behalf of its
members and the wider profession.
Rookes expressed concerns over adviser ethics during a fringe
meeting at the recent Labour Party conference. Her comments sparked
a backlash amongst the adviser community and led to urgent dialogue
between Ms Rookes and Personal Finance Society chief executive,
As a consequence, the MAS issued the following statement to
Personal Finance Society members and the adviser community as a
"We are very disappointed that Caroline's comments at a fringe
meeting at a Labour Party conference have been misrepresented as an
attack on the ethics of advisers and would like to apologise if
this has caused offence to advisers.
"The regulated advice community plays a vital role in helping
consumers and we believe that the advice community as a whole
operates to very high ethical standards."
"That is why we are committed to building greater links with
regulated advisers and are looking to develop a new directory of
regulated advisers, to make it easier for consumers of both our
service and the government's new retirement guidance facility, to
access more detailed and specialist advice if they need it."
Responding on the retraction, Richards welcomed the
clarification and admitted he was very surprised to read Caroline
Rooke's comments in the first place.
"Even though we work closely with the MAS, we could not just sit
back and say nothing on such a serious issue, which is why we
responded publicly in the first instance," he concluded.
Professional financial advice is increasingly being recognised
for the vital role it plays, especially for retirement planning in
the wake of the budget measures introduced by the Treasury.
"Whilst there is undoubtedly still work to be done, the advice
sector's response to RDR and its on-going commitment as a whole
deserves to be applauded," he stated.
"More importantly, any comment relating to advisers needs to
reflect this to ensure it presents a more accurate and balanced
picture to consumers. Doing so will give them the assurance and
confidence to seek professional advice in order to make
well-informed financial decisions."
"We are delighted the MAS have now put the record straight and
apologised for any misunderstanding. We look forward to continuing
to work collaboratively with them for the greater good of the
For further information please contact:
Keith Richards, chief executive
Office: 0207 417 4474
Mobile: 07786 023033
Lyn New, PA to chief executive
Office: 0207 417 4401
Notes to Editors:
The Personal Finance Society
The Personal Finance Society is the leading professional
organisation for financial advisers and those in related roles.
With over 354,000 members, it promotes the highest standards of
professionalism by setting the standards for technical knowledge,
customer service and ethical practice across the entire financial
planning community. To achieve its aims, the Society provides its
members with access to a programme of continuing professional
development, relevant qualifications, learning materials, support
services and other practical benefits.
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