Watchdog announces changes for financial advisers

| January 20, 2011
”Watchdog

Following a review, City watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced financial advisers must hold accreditation if they want to provide independent or restricted advice from the start of 2013.

The FSA said retail investment advisers will need to possess a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) if they want to give independent or restricted advice after this date.

The moves are to boost public confidence in financial advice and will cover independent advisers as well as those working for financial institutions.

“Rebuilding trust between customer and adviser is absolutely vital for the future prosperity of the retail investment market,” Sheila Nicoll, of the FSA explains.

“When advisers open for business in January 2013, a statement of professional standing will be a vital indicator for customers that the person they are dealing with is subscribing to a code of ethics, has up-to-date knowledge and is appropriately qualified,” she added.

The review comes after a series of financial firms have been fined for mis-selling financial products.

Earlier this week, banking giant Barclays received a fine of £7.7 million – imposed by the FSA for poor investment advice.

The FSA also ordered the bank to compensate up to £60 million to customers of two investment funds.

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