Countdown to the Change of a Lifetime?

At the end of this year there’s going to be a whole load of people and firms who have gotten used to calling themselves IFA’s – Independent Financial Advisers – who will no longer be able to use that term.

The rules are changing and the Financial Services Authority’s definition of Independent (whole of market) advice will include a wider range of investment products than many IFAs currently advise on.

So from 1st January 2013, these advisers (previously calling themselves IFAs) will have to settle for offering what will now be referred to as a “restricted” advice service – this means they will only be able to offer advice on a “restricted” range of financial products which falls short of advising on the whole market of retail investment products, compared with the Independent whole of market Financial Adviser offering an “independent” advice service on the widest/complete range of retail investment products.

So if you like the idea of your adviser being independent, you may wish to check the detail of what they will actually become next year.

Furthermore – all Financial Advisers who wish to continue practising in 2013 and beyond will have to demonstrate a minimum standard of learning (NVQ level 4) and show they are keeping up with their continuous professional development – they must hold a Statement of Professional Standing in order to give financial advice.

Some advising currently will not be advising next year….

More discussion on this to follow…

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