The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has hinted that it may force financial and mortgage advisors to take additional training and qualifications if they are to advise on certain non-mainstream products or deals that the FSA is concerned may lead to customer dissatisfaction.

With qualifications already required for specialist services such as equity release mortgages (requires CeRER training) and long term insurance products, this could place much more emphasis on financial training on an on-going basis.

The FSA was quoted as saying:

“The growing sophistication of investments generally, might mean that advisers with only the minimum qualification (such as that for advising on packaged products) should be restricted to advising on more mainstream investments.”

The FSA’s suggestion was included within a wider discussion paper on the subject of giving the FSA greater power to intervene in the marketplace in order to protect the consumer.

This move is designed to ensure that customers are only given advice on the more complex deals and products by qualified advisors able to demonstrate both the skill and a high level of knowledge in that area through an additional, relevant qualification and CPD (Continuing Professional Development), according to the FSA.

The struggle reportedly is going to be to identify the products the FSA deems to be non-mainstream or complex and the FSA is open to feedback from the industry on this point.

Currently, to become a mortgage advisor you need CeMAP training and for financial advisors you need CeFA training. Following this training, a person can advise on a wide range of base products and it will be interesting to see what the FSA introduces.

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