Many financial advisers in the UK have turned to social media to lament the Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) takeover of the Personal Finance Society’s (PFS) board announced in December 2022.
Several, however, have started weighing up their options when it comes to membership, and whether they should change their trade or professional body.
Some financial advisers mentioned moving to either the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) or to the London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) in case the CII failed.
International Adviser talked to both CISI and LIBF to understand what financial advisers need to do and have in order to transfer their membership.
Samar Yanni, CISI assistant director – head of membership and professional standards, said: “We welcome a broad range of individuals as members of the CISI, not simply those with our own qualifications.
“There are different entry criteria for the different levels of membership, and clear guidance covering many qualifications can be found on our website under each membership category. Even if a qualification is not listed, we can check the position for any individual.
“It is straightforward to record any current continuing professional development (CPD) and again, we recognise CPD from a breadth of sources. With different options and entry routes available, interested individuals can always contact us directly and we’d be happy to help.”
John Somerville , head of financial services, professional education at LIBF, added that financial advisers can obtain Level 4 and Level 6 qualifications via the institute as well as acquire specialist qualifications in later life retirement planning, equity release, pension transfers, long-term care and paraplanning.
He continued: “LIBF is a qualification awarding body and an FCA accredited body. Our recognition of prior learning is a straightforward process and will enable learners to complete their studies under LIBF and use our designations without the need for ongoing membership. Learners can become chartered with LIBF with only three years’ experience and can go onwards to a fellowship after 20 years”.
LIBF provides chartered status, but only to individuals, Somerville said.
Somerville added that CPD used to gain statements of professional standing (SPS) can be moved between accredited bodies and the LIBF does not “insist on membership in order to be granted an SPS”.
If financial advisers want to apply to LIBF for an SPS, they should keep in mind online applications are quicker (five days) compared to paper ones (10 days), Somerville said.
But if an adviser had previously held an SPS with a different body, “you can simply submit a certified copy of your current SPS”.
LIBF will charge members £50 for this, while the cost for non-members doubles to £100 ($124, €114).
In PFS-related news, thousands of members have shared their views on the CII appointment debacle following the 27 January consultation deadline extension.
Don MacIntyre, PFS interim chief executive, said: “I would like to thank the thousands of PFS members who have contributed to this gathering of views, including those who participated in our webinars, completed the survey or wrote to me directly.
“Approximately 10% of PFS members and 15% of PFS corporate members, from a total of 40,000, responded to the survey. It is encouraging to see the passion and strength of feeling PFS members have for their representative body. It is clear that there are strongly held views and significant concerns arising from the CII’s action, many of which I share.
“I will now take the next week to analyse and consider the feedback received, before relaying the views of the PFS membership to both the PFS and CII boards. It is my top priority to bring stability back to the PFS following a period of significant turbulence imposed upon us.
“This continued impasse is doing damage to both the CII and PFS. Both our members rightly demand and expect us to do better than this. We must listen to what they say and find a way to move forward based on what is in the best interests of both our organisations, whilst being transparent with our memberships. I have a duty to represent PFS members’ best interests.”