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Advice profession 'deserves more recognition'


The Personal Finance Society (PFS) has stressed that the majority of financial advisers working in the sector are doing good work and should not be tainted by the bad performance of a few bad apples.

Following recent news that complaints against advisers have increased by 45 per cent, the PFS has pointed out that this still only accounts for one per cent of the grievances presented to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), thus showing the profession presents only a minimal risk to consumers.

Chief executive officer Keith Richards (no relation), pointed to an increasingly litigious culture and the emergence of claims management companies as two reasons for the increase in complaints against the industry.

"This data from FOS is positive supporting evidence that the advice profession deserves recognition for higher levels of professionalism, expertise and trust than might have been the case in the past," he declared.

Only half of the complaints made to the ombudsman were upheld, suggesting that efforts to improve standards in the sector have been modestly successful over the last 12 months.

"Coupled with the implementation of Retail Distribution Review (RDR) professionalism and transparency rules, evidence supports a call to create stability and allow the development of a vibrant professional advice sector, which the public needs and deserves," added Mr Richards.

He stressed that it is vital to recognise that the majority of people working in the financial advice industry are delivering a valued service, and dealing well with the new regulatory regime that has been put in place.

The Financial Standard recently reported that the RDR has only had a small impact on the industry, with 77 per cent of advisers still charging a similar amount as they were by percentage prior to the regulatory shift.

Furthermore, fears that the law could drive independent advisers into joining major conglomerates have not come to fruition.,-expertise-and-trust/26234

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