The Chartered Body Alliance was launched this morning with a signing ceremony by three Chartered bodies; the Personal Finance Society's parent organisation the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the Chartered Bankers Insitute. The PFS doesn't have Chartered in its name but is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute and awards the Chartered Financial Planner designation.
The tie-up is “aimed at raising the level of professionalism and trust in the financial services sector”. The organisations pledged to “restore the pride for people working in financial services” and to create a new “gold standard of professionalism.” The three chiefs of each organisations, CEOs Sian Fisher for the CII, Simon Culhane for the CISI and Simon Thompson for the Chartered Bankers, emphasised that the organisations already have a lot in common.
The signing ceremony took place at the CISI headquarters in London’s Walkie Talkie building.
The bodies stressed that the move was a co-operative alliance, not a merger. CISI chief executive Simon Culhane said: "This is not a merger or even a hint of a merger. This is a virtual alliance essentially.”
The three organisations will jointly fund any initiatives under the banner of the new alliance (see logo below). Membership fees will not be affected because any money spent will come from existing budgets, CII chief executive Sian Fisher told Financial Planning Today.
Staff will be pooled from existing teams, as opposed to employing new people for the alliance. The three bodies will hold joint events, possibly as many as five per year, though details are yet to be fleshed out. These are likely to be on topics such as customer care, ethics and professionalism but probably not specifically Financial Planning.
There will also be joint advertising campaigns and collaboration on research and the Alliance will jointly promote the importance of professionalism and of Chartered and Certified statuses to the public. They will engage with regulators together and respond to industry consultations as the Alliance.
Ms Fisher said the bodies were keen to provide high quality CPD for members and more details would be announced of this in due course.
Mr Culhane said there had been “plenty of unofficial conversation” with the FCA and other regulators and all welcomed the idea for the alliance.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, said there was, “a lot we can and will do together to enhance and sustain professionalism in financial services”. He said the three bodies had more than 250 years of history combined.
Financial Planning bodies the PFS and CISI both offer planners Chartered titles - Chartered Financial Planner for PFS members and Chartered Wealth Manager for CISI members respectively.