FSA considers new specialist qualification for advisers

The FSA believes there is scope for advisers to have specialist qualifications where they are advising on non-mainstream products.

In its discussion paper on product intervention published today, the FSA says it could introduce a requirement for a specialist qualification and limit advisers qualified to a minimum level to advising solely on more mainstream products.

The Training and Competence sourcebook already imposes set qualification requirements on long-term care products, pension transfers, and equity release mortgages. (article continues below)

The FSA says: “On the same basis, where we are concerned about the potential for certain non-mainstream products to lead to poor customer outcomes, we could introduce a new requirement for an appropriate qualification in addition to the qualification requirement for the mainstream activity, such as advice on packaged products.”

The regulator believes this approach could work alongside the idea of banning non-advised sales for certain products.

The FSA says it welcomes views on which activities might be defined as specialisms to be included in any additional qualifications.