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Chartered Insurance Institute
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CII response to Financial Advice Market Review

Bringing financial advice to all

The CII welcomes the Government's efforts to make financial advice, in its broadest definition, accessible to all. Regardless of which service the adviser is giving, or the channel or label used, standards, training, accreditation and revalidation must be at its heart.

The current alphabet soup of 'advice' terminology is bewildering to those working in the sector, never mind consumers trying to get their heads around these issues for the first time. Moreover, while the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) made 'regulated' financial advice more robust, it is arguably beyond the needs of consumers with less complex requirements.

If the Government and/or financial institutions are to make advice more accessible - by including, for example,   new approaches and technology - they still need to ensure that the advice meets minimum standards, since this will engender public trust and confidence.

Drawing from its long experience as a professional body serving the pensions and long-term savings market, the CII last year proposed a standards model underpinning how pensions guidance could be built. We called this Standards, Training, Accreditation and Revalidation (STAR). It could form a confidence-building foundation from which the market could develop any existing and new 'advice' propositions:

  • Standards:setting out what's expected of those firms giving advice or guidance, and what those individuals delivering it would be reasonably expected to know and perform;
  • Training:to impart and verify the required individual knowledge and competence aspects of the standards;
  • Accreditation:to confirm that the standards have been attained by organisations in their internal processes, and continue to be maintained; and
  • Revalidation:to ensure that those individuals delivering these services are up to date with the latest developments, such as changes to investment and pensions policy, taxation and the benefits system.

It is not our intention to try to design prescriptive guidance or advice models, or to express views on the relative merits of each. Instead, we wish to explore and understand how STAR could be applied in different broad scenarios. So we have asked consultancy EY to undertake a detailed analysis of possible guidance and advice scenarios that could stem from this review, and then set out how STAR might be applied. The EY report accompanies this consultation response.

Next Steps: the CII looks forward  to working with HMT/FCA and the market to arrive at the right level of standards to support any emerging solutions, and help develop training, accreditation and revalidation solutions as required.

Pdf icon small  View the CII's formal call for input response »

Pdf icon small View the report for the CII by EY »

Related documents

webpage_icon  CII Briefing: The Financial Advice Market Review (Oct 2015) »

webpage_icon  CII Briefing: HM Treasury and FCA launch the Financial Advice Market Review (Sep 2015) »

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