In response to an article on New Model Adviser/Citywire

In response to an article on New Model Adviser/Citywire this week which carries the headline: CII Plot to deregister the PFS, Sian Fisher, CEO of the CII confirmed:The CII first proposed deregistering the Personal Finance Society as a legal entity in 2016. The proposal, which flagged the administration cost savings that deregistration would generate, was considered by an independent review commissioned by the Personal Finance Society board and the proposal was subsequently rejected.

The proposal was put to the Personal Finance Society board again in 2019 and whilst turned down, it was agreed that a proposal would be considered again following the formation and establishment of the structure of the CII’s Insurance Societies, which were created using the PFS as the blueprint.

The proposal has been made again by the CII. The Personal Finance Society board has requested further information from the CII about the proposal so that they can consider whether it is the best interests of the professional body’s membership. Discussion’s continue.”

Guarantor proposal

The CII Group has been offered a credit facility by a leading bank and the Personal Finance Society’s board has been asked to consider acting as guarantor along with one other subsidiary by the bank to protect the interests of the whole group.

The coronavirus pandemic significantly reduced the Chartered Insurance Institute’s ability to generate revenue last year.

In 2019 the CII reported revenue of £45.2m and a surplus before tax of £2.8m. In 2020, the CII’s revenue decreased by 18 per cent to £36.9m and the CII has reported a deficit of £3.8m before tax.

At the start of 2020 the CII Group had reserves of £39.2m. By the start of 2021 the Group’s reserves were £34.3m.

Action is being taken to manage net reserves to within an acceptable tolerance so that the CII, a not-for-profit professional body, can maintain a financial position which allows us to continue delivering to members and students in the years to come.

The PFS board has requested more information from the CII in order to fully consider this proposal.

Future of the Personal Finance Society

The Chartered Insurance Institute is a qualifications body for both Insurance and Personal Finance professionals and remains committed to both sectors. The PFS and new Insurance Societies will form part of our Membership and engagement programme that Keith has created and will form part of the responsibilities of his successor.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “The Personal Finance Society has played an important role in supporting the sector to evolve from an industry to a profession while also evolving its own role and purpose as a professional body. Having achieved most of my early goals and aspirations the time feels appropriate for someone else to take the Society to the next stage.

While there is always more to be done, I am proud of the evolution of the sector and my own team’s collective achievements. I thank them, the PFS board and regional volunteers for their commitment and invaluable support.”

Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “We thank Keith for all his hard work. During his tenure we have seen the Personal Finance Society develop into a dynamic and respected membership body for the vibrant profession of financial planning.

“We will be replacing Keith’s chief membership officer role and will have plenty of time to thank Keith in person over the next few months prior to him leaving. We all wish him well for the future.”