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Open letter from APFA: Our demands to government

by: Laura Miller
  • 23/06/2015
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Open letter from APFA: Our demands to government
The Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) has set out its lobbying priorities for the next parliamentary year in an open letter to advisers.

The trade association wants help for a profession which it said is struggling under the burden of regulation and regulatory fees.

The letter by APFA director-general Chris Hannant (pictured) is the first of a planned series that will be produced by the body over the coming months outlining its plans and achievements on specific campaigns.

It stated:

Dear all,

I wanted to write to financial advisers to outline our lobbying priorities for the next parliamentary year, highlight some of our achievements so far and thank our members for their continued support.

APFA exists to act as the voice of the financial advice community; we represent the interests of our membership to those regulators and policymakers which have an impact on the advice marketplace and the business operation of financial advisers.

Our mission is to ensure an accountable regulator and fairer funding of all the regulatory bodies.

We believe there is a fundamental mismatch between a government that says it wants advisers to step up to the plate and help consumers navigate increasingly complex personal finances, and regulatory bodies which are unable to control their budgets, are seemingly unaccountable and continue to inundate advisers with ill thought-out, constantly changing regulation.

APFA has already worked with its members to make headway in ensuring a better environment for the advice profession and to ensure financial advice is not just the preserve of the wealthy.

Some of our achievements include:

• A saving of £3m a year for advisers on the pensions guidance levy;
• No cap on adviser charges in EU PRIIPs regulation;
• A saving of £3m a year in MAS fees for advisers;
• An FCA review of the liability long-stop.

However, there remain several areas where government, parliament and the regulators must help. Our priorities for the next parliamentary year will be:

• Pushing for a change to the FSCS levies;
• Seeking Better Regulation from the FCA;
• Challenging FOS on its decision-making;
• Campaigning for a liability long-stop;
• Placing advice at the heart of the pension reforms.

Access to financial advice needs to be placed at the heart of government policymaking over the next parliament if people are to be able to plan for a stable financial future.

This letter is the first of a series that APFA will be producing to outline our achievements on specific campaigns as well as releasing details of our policy agenda.

Many thanks to our members for their long-standing support. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure a better future for advisers and consumers alike.”

Yours sincerely,

Chris Hannant
Director-general
Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA)

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