In a sea of bad news there was a small island of cheerfulness this week, at least for the Financial Planning profession.
The Personal Finance Society announced that it would throw its weight behind the rival CISI’s Financial Planning Week for the first time.
I’ve long called for this sensible and significant step, the first time common sense has broken out, at least as far as Financial Planning Week is concerned.
For readers not in the know the PFS and CISI are arch rivals. In the red corner the PFS has the Chartered Financial Planner qualification, the dominant UK qualification for Financial Planners by some way with well over 5,000 holders. In the blue corner the CISI’s Certified Financial Planner qualification – an older qualification and the most adopted around the globe but which has struggled to achieve momentum in the UK where it has fewer than 1,000 holders.
But it seems that a kind of peace has broken out. The PFS, for the first time, is backing the CISI’s annual and important Financial Planning Week campaign which aims to promote Financial Planning in its widest sense to the wider world.
The move makes it much more likely that more Chartered Financial Planners will support it in future but the timing of the PFS announcement, just before Financial Planning Week begins on Monday, makes it a little late in the day for this.
Still, it is a positive and significant step in the world of professional bodies where co-operation and collaboration is now much in evidence and years of fierce competition. Recently the PFS announced that it would share City of London office space with the CISI, albeit with a clear division between the two. This would have been unthinkable a few years ago. The bodies increasingly co-operate on examinations too.
A merger is unlikely to be on the cards for some time, if ever, but the greater co-operation between adviser professional bodies is a welcome step for both planners and consumers. United we stand has always been one of my favourite sayings.
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Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience. This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks. Follow @FPT_Kevin