Across the UK, only around 900 financial planning firms have achieved ‘Chartered’ status. You may have noticed from the gold Chartered marks on our website that we’re such a firm – but what does that mean for you and your clients?
Chartered status is much more than just a membership. When your clients choose a financial adviser with Chartered status, they benefit from the peace of mind that they are dealing with a trusted professional, operating to high ethical standards.
Read on to find out more about how a financial planning firm achieves Chartered status, and how choosing a Chartered financial planner can benefit you and your clients.
The ‘gold standard’ of financial planning
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is the professional body for insurance and personal finance and it’s the CII who award Chartered status.
As a Chartered body of more than a century’s standing, the CII only grants Chartered titles to individuals and organisations that meet strict qualifying criteria. Firms that achieve Chartered status:
- Provide knowledgeable and high-quality advice backed up by qualifications and continued professional development
- Have made a public commitment to high ethical standards and values
- Are committed to achieving good customer outcomes.
Fewer than a thousand UK firms have met this standard, and so choosing a Chartered firm means clients are accessing the ‘gold standard’ of financial planning.
How a Chartered financial planner adds value
Choosing a Chartered planner adds value to your clients in three main ways.
1. A high level of technical expertise
To achieve Chartered status, a financial planner must have achieved a high level of technical competence. This is likely to be through professional qualifications and accreditations, and a commitment to continued professional development. Only the planners who obtain important professional qualifications will meet the strict CII criteria.
Chartered firms such as Sovereign invest in planners with the high levels of knowledge appropriate to their role. This means that your clients benefit from high levels of competency and capability in the provision of advice and service.
2. High ethical standards
Chartered status acts as a mark of trust. Clients can be sure that, as a Chartered firm, we have in place core values, business practices and a diversity and inclusion policy that aligns with the CII Code of Ethics.
We’re also committed to maintaining a positive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
3. A commitment to the financial services profession
The CII encourages Chartered firms to give back to society by contributing to the development of the financial planning profession. This may include participation in specialist practice groups, and in forums designed to develop good practice.
As a Chartered firm, we are also committed to participating in community/charitable activities and appearing in the local media to answer consumer questions, reinforcing public trust in the profession.
Our responsibility is to maintain these standards, and our Chartered mark represents our commitment to doing so.
3 more ways we can demonstrate the value we add to your clients
Accolades awarded to a financial planning firm demonstrate their expertise. It also reinforces to your clients that they are trusting a firm that peers and the wider profession hold in high esteem.
Our awards success in recent years demonstrates our strong reputation to your clients:
- Named in New Model Adviser’s Top 100 advice firms
- Finalists/winners in the Professional Adviser awards
- Finalists/winners in the Money Marketing awards
2. A fair and transparent fee structure
As a provider of professional services, you will know how much clients appreciate a fair and transparent charging structure. Whether you charge fixed fees or hourly rates, clients appreciate knowing exactly how much they can expect to pay for professional advice, and that they aren’t going to encounter any nasty surprises.
At Sovereign, our initial discussion with a client is always at our expense. We then offer fixed fees based on the complexity of a client’s situation, rather than taking a percentage of the assets they hold.
This ensures that clients pay us for the work that we do, and that their fees are not dependent on us ‘selling’ them a financial product that they don’t necessarily need.
3. Strong reviews
A BrightLocal survey found that 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35 to 54.
We encourage all clients to leave us reviews on both Google and VouchedFor, so your clients can always head online and see the real-life experiences of Sovereign clients. All our reviews are in the public domain for any client to see, either on Google or for Mark or James on VouchedFor.
Get in touch
We’re here to advise you and your clients on all aspects of financial planning. If you have clients that would benefit from advice, or you’re interested in how you can work more closely with us, please get in touch. Email email@example.com or call 01454 416 653.