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Advice profession deserves recognition for higher levels of professionalism, expertise and trust

Publication date:

11 June 2013

Last updated:

04 July 2018

Following recent news that complaints against advisers have increased by 45%, the Personal Finance Society (PFS) is keen to point out that total complaints against advisers only account for 1% of all Financial Ombudsmen Service (FOS) grievances, and therefore relatively speaking demonstrates that the profession presents minimal consumer risk. 

Of equal significance is the evidence that less than half of the 1% of complaints against financial advisers was upheld - the percentage upheld has fallen to 42% in 2012/13, from 54% the year before. These findings strongly indicate that the focus to raise standards within the profession is proving a success, and the advice sector deserves recognition for this. 

Similarly, the Citizens Advise Bureau in England and Wales dealt with almost 7 million different enquiries last year, but they recorded only 3,079 relating to financial advisers, brokers and intermediaries, also a drop from 2011/12 when the number of enquires was 3,367. In fact, enquiries about financial advisers, brokers and intermediaries only accounted for 3% of all enquiries about financial services handled by the bureau. 

Keith Richards, CEO of the PFS, explained: "Despite the growing litigious culture and emergence of claims management companies, 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. 

"If is fair to acknowledge that regulation has been effective in supporting these improvements, however it is equally important to recognise the commitment of the financial planning profession who evidently deliver a service which is trusted and valued by the majority. It is important that this evidence is also taken into account to influence future regulatory strategy and in particular the apportionment of rising regulatory and compensation fees and levies.

"Coupled with the implementation of 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."

This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.

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