Who is on your experts list?
Did you know that the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority is considering allowing Solicitors to refer their clients to any financial advisor, whereas currently they can only refer to Independent Financial Advisors who act on the client’s behalf and not their own!!! If this change goes ahead, Law Firms will be able to refer their clients to organisations such as any of the Banks and ‘tied’ advisors such as St James’ Place
One Solicitor was so concerned about the effect this change could have on the profession that he has written to the SRA (he has also asked other Solicitors to do the same) and amongst other things he has reminded them of the case of Mr A J Field, Solicitor (practicing as Field & Co in Sheerness) recently struck off for dealings with a financial advisor who was not independent (copy of the case report available on request).
The question this raises even now is how much due diligence do you do before adding a financial advice firm to your experts list? If you are the owner or senior manager of a Law Firm, do you know which financial advisers your fee earners are using and why they selected them?
How can you protect yourself?
The good news is that we are one of a select group of IFA firms that have made the due diligence process easy for you.
Professional Financial Centre (East Midlands) Limited are more than just Gold Patrons of the Derby and District Law Society. As a result of our qualifications, experience and culture, we qualify to be included on the SIFA Professional Directory of IFAs, which is endorsed by the Law Society.
We have both female and male Independent Financial Advisors, with more than 20 years combined experience of giving financial advice. On top of this, the members of our research and client support team have more than 40 years combined financial services experience and are highly qualified. You will note that no other financial advice firm in Derby operates in the way that we do, has our level of qualifications, endorsements or staff resources that enable us to provide the highest levels of bespoke financial planning advice to our clients.
We are also one of a select group of Chartered Financial Planning firms. Rather than explain in our own words what a Chartered Financial Planning Firm is and what it means, we have with the kind permission of the CII lifted word for word what it says about Chartered Status from its website as at July 2012:
‘Chartered Status – The ultimate symbol of professionalism
Chartered status enables individuals and firms to demonstrate their professional commitment to raising standards of knowledge, capability and ethical practice. It tells their customers that they can expect the highest quality of service.
With increased FSA regulation, new distribution channels, intense competition and relentless media scrutiny, the insurance and financial services sector has had to raise its game. And today's consumers are more demanding than ever. They want advisers and product providers to demonstrate professional capabilities. They expect to deal with individuals and firms who can provide first-class service, advice and support.
Independent research shows that consumers recognise and value the Charter marque as an indication of merit, capability and commitment to ethical practice.
Chartered brings with it serious obligations. Holders are required to ensure the advice, service and ongoing support they provide is:
- of the highest quality
- based on the client's researched needs
- provided by someone operating within their level of competency.
Holders meet this in a number of ways:
- a commitment to professional development, including attaining the highest qualifications
- belonging to the CII or the Personal Finance Society (the financial advice arm of the CII Group), including adhering to the CII Code of Ethics
- adhering to continuing professional development requirements.
Genuine professionalism has never been so valued - or so necessary. The Chartered titles awarded by the CII are steeped in history, but they remain today's "gold standard" of excellence and integrity.’
Is Professional Financial Centre (East Midlands) Ltd on your experts list?
If you would like to discuss with us the benefits of including us on your experts list then please do not hesitate to contact us. Professional Financial Centre (East Midlands) Ltd has helped many clients to put a sensible financial plan into place for the rest of their lives. As changes happen, we review our clients’ plans, adjusting them to meet changing economic circumstances and family needs. Why not challenge us to do the same for you or your clients?
As a member of the Derby Law Society, by quoting code LS1 you and / or your clients will receive a 5% reduction in our costs.
Richard Shanks (Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner)
Professional Financial Centre (East Midlands) Limited
Wesley House, St Michael’s Lane
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. This article is not a recommendation and you should obtain appropriate advice before acting on any of the information provided.