The chief executive of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) has said he expects there will be one regulatory standard, across the globe, for the financial advice sector.
This comes as the PFS unveils its e-mentoring service, Connect, for members to promote professional development and learning for personal finance professionals at any stage of their careers.
Keith Richards told International Adviser: “The world is becoming a smaller place and technology has enabled that.
“We read more about what’s happening somewhere else in the world instantly, whereas in the past that might have been limited to knowing our own region.
“It is important that standards across the world are being shared, consumers are becoming increasingly educated.
“Sometime in the future, we will see far more alignment of an international regulatory standard emerge because it will be difficult to see why you operate with one standard in one country compared a different standard in another country.
“We are working in a number of countries at the moment, both in Asia and the Middle East, as we are seeing demand for international standards wanting to be incorporated with domestic and local needs.”
PFS members will be allowed to mentor and be mentored by others within the society from anywhere in the world via the platform.
Mentorship can be flexible to suit different preferences, such as meeting face-to-face, or online, which will enable a more diverse range of people sharing experiences and skills.
Mentors and mentees could both be eligible to accumulate continuing professional development (CPD) hours for their participation.
The platform will be available to members of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in several months’ time.
“We are increasingly finding the need to set up mentoring for those younger advisers, who lack the experience and often the soft skills that are required to align with the technical confidence that they can learn through qualifications,” Richards added.
“We are seeing internationally that a similar theme does emerge, soft skills and experience are essential components of the developing profession but sometimes can be overlooked, as it is natural to focus on technical knowledge.
“There’s probably a lot more emphasis on product training as opposed to soft skills for some of the big sales forces that still exist.
“There is often a blend that is needed. We are increasingly incorporating soft skills and application within our CPD programmes, both face-to-face and online.
“And additionally, we have created a hub where we create papers around practical experience in key areas of financial advice. That is one way of developing implementation knowledge.”