One industry leader’s response to news that the Level 5 certificate may be changed, coupled with his suggestion that advisers should concentrate on good behaviour, generated lots of interest from readers this week…

The Level 5 qualification should be left alone, and advisers encouraged to concentrate on continuous questioning, research, scepticism, good behaviour, and integrity. That’s the view of Guy Dobson, Director of Dyamnique, the capital markets business performance and content firm.

Dobson, reacting to last week’s Riskinfo report on a review of the entry-level certificate, says prior to regulation, advisers built their reputation on client relationships, “…knowing their stuff and doing what they said they were going to with the client’s best interest at heart”.

“‘My word is my bond’ was the ruling mantra for stock exchanges, private client wealth managers and bankers,” he says.

“Personally, as a client, I would take far more notice about an adviser’s work experience and continuing knowledge-building than whether or not they had achieved Level 5 – which is pretty low.”

…good client outcomes come down to good behaviour…

Dobson says he would also ask to see an adviser’s client sheet (names withheld) to ascertain the type of advice they gave, and products and services recommended.

Guy Dobson, Director of Dynamique.
Guy Dobson, Director of Dynamique.

“Outcomes over a three and five year period would also be requested so I could check how their advice turned out, and did it produce the required client outcome, allowing for the volatility of investment risk.”

He says good client outcomes come down to good behaviour, and that the client services provided by too many financial service firms and others has reached an “appalling low as firms hide behind self-help digital tools and Chat Bots”.

“All basically down to cost-cutting, profit enhancing, and increasing transfer of risk to their client. This is really bad for the consumer.”

See our report: Level 5 Certificate Under Review