The Personal Finance Society (PFS) dismissed the sweeping comments made by Caroline Rookes at the Labour Party Conference on 23 September, which questioned adviser ethics.
According to reports, Rookes acknowledged advisers have a role to play in delivering the government’s pension reforms but said she is “worried about [their] ethics” and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) may need to be “tougher on them to ensure they are doing what they should”.
PFS chief executive Keith Richards said the comments were “inappropriate and disproportionately negative” and “dis-serve the general public’s best interests”, potentially further deterring them from seeking advice.
“A lot has changed over the last few years, especially from a professionalism perspective, and it is time that more balanced comments were made by key figures and consumer-facing groups to reflect the true picture,” he said.
“Distorting the facts, or disproportionately focusing on negative outcomes, risks dissuading the public from arriving at the right decisions. That threatens to undermine the hard work the sector is doing to overcome the mistrust that blighted its reputation in recent years.”