Good news our new display sign has arrived confirming our Personal Finance Society Associate Member status, which is an upgrade from our previous Qualified Member status. Our new status was confirmed back in September.
What does this mean for customers?
Well, according to the Personal Finance Society (PFS) “becoming an Associate Firm publicly aligns our firm with the Personal Finance Society, the largest professional body for the financial planning sector.
Associate Firms voluntarily demonstrate the adoption of the professional standards set by the Personal Finance Society enabling them to stand tall behind a culture that places clients and staff at its heart.
Associate Firms enjoy a closer association with the PFS as they strive to build public trust in financial services and elevate the importance and value of financial wellbeing through regulated personal finance and Investment advice.
Associate Firms are able to evidence their commitment to clients and broader stakeholders through the use of an Associate Firm mark. Firms will also receive the mark as an office plaque and will be listed as an Associate Firm on the Personal Finance Society’s website.
The Eight Core Principles of being an Associate Firm
- Act in the best interests of clients, using a customer charter to aid transparency
- Demonstrate integrity, probity and fairness by aligning with the code of professional ethics & conduct
- Comply with the spirit as well as rules of regulation
- Comply with the spirit as well as the rules of employment law
- Invest in your people by funding a policy of ongoing training and professional development
- Operate a clear diversity & inclusion policy, for both your staff and clients
- Operate a policy of corporate social responsibility
- Adhere to transparent governance standards and processes.
As individuals and firms, we have the power to build confidence in our services and earn the trust of our clients; but it is only by uniting behind a shared vision that we can influence the future direction and trust of our sector.
The Personal Finance Society is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute; our purpose is driven by our Royal Charter commitment, granted by the sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, to secure and justify the confidence of the public in our profession. We do this by:
- Raising professional standards through knowledge, development and good practice sharing
- Our members commitment to a code of professional ethics, behaviour and culture
- Engaging with regulators and policymakers to improve outcomes for consumers.
Our strapline, Standards. Professionalism. Trust., embodies our commitment to driving confidence in the power of professional standards. “
In order to achieve this new designation we have been able to demonstrate to the PFS that we have all the necessary processes in place including: Corporate Social Responsibility policy, Customer Charters, Diversity and Inclusion policy and Employee Training and Development programmes, all of which we have been able to do.
The next stage is to become a Chartered Firm. Unfortunately, this seems unlikely due to a technicality. Although Adele is already a Chartered Financial Adviser, her qualifications are with the London Institute of Banking and Finance, part of the Institute of Financial Services (IFS), rather than the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Because the PFS are part of the CII, they will not allow us to use their Chartered designation. If Adele was with the CII instead of the IFS, we would already be a Chartered Firm.
So far 120 firms have been designated with Associate status.