The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is facing pressure from a number of aligned professional bodies to improve its financial services directory. The Chartered Body Alliance (CBA) is composed of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI), Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and Chartered Banker Institute (CBI) and represents around 200,000 members.
The FCA is consulting on a new directory that will include financial advisers and sit alongside the current Financial Services Register. The CBA alliance has said the regulator's proposals to develop the directory would, in failing to include key information, fall short of its aim to "empower the consumer".
This is because the directory is not set to include fields showing an individual's professional affiliations, such as professional body membership and standing. Neither is it set to reference whether an individual holds a valid statement of professional standing (SPS).
Chief Executive of CISI Simon Culhane said details regarding professional body membership and whether an individual was an SPS holder constituted "materially relevant information", adding: "Being a member of a Chartered professional body is an achievement signifying an ongoing personal commitment to high levels of knowledge, skills and behaviour that go beyond the minimum standards required by regulators."
He continued: "I believe the public should be able to differentiate between those that have made such a personal commitment to higher standards, and that the new directory should highlight this."
CII Chief Executive Sian Fisher said: "We believe that, predominantly, the public interest lies in knowing the directory person is authorised to do their role, and suitably qualifies to do so.
"Both of these are important factors for consumers to evaluate when considering their options for the provision of financial services, who would have a clear indication about the adviser's ability to practise and also have a clear signpost to further information about the individual from the professional body itself."