Among the first to commit to associate status were Lowes Financial Management, Susan Hill Financial Planning, Bateman Asset Management, Morgan Williams & Co and Red Star Wealth Management.
Associate firms sign up to a ‘closer relationship’ with the Personal Finance Society and back the PFS’ standards.
The PFS says the aim of associate membership is to create a ‘united profession’ approach to building public trust and “elevating the importance and value of financial wellbeing through Financial Planning and investment advice.” However, some have criticised the new ‘light touch’ membership as causing confusion about types of membership.
Associate Firms get an Associate logo, including an aluminium plaque to display commitment to a set of core professionalism principles. The logo can be promoted at reception and on websites. They will also be listed and linked to from the Personal Finance Society’s website.
Firms must adopt eight underlying principles which includes a commitment to comply with the spirit as well as the rules of regulation and employment law as well and to have a clear diversity and inclusion policy, in addition to a policy for corporate social responsibility.
The new membership is renewable annually and firms will be required to provide evidence of how they are meeting the commitments if asked to do so by the Personal Finance Society.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “It is great to see so many firms from across the sector recognising the benefit of aligning as a united profession to help elevate the importance and value of financial advice through a commitment to professional standards.”
The Personal Finance Society launched Associate Firm status last month following requests from firms that wanted to show their alignment to the professional standards and the code of ethics set by the society.