BSI places greater confidence in our financial futures

The BSI Group's Financial Services Standards committee is working hard to

ensure that financial advice for consumers is both sound and unambiguous.

Ensuring an inclusive approach is taken, BSI has formally invited interested

parties to review the new draft of the International Standardization

Organization (ISO) standard and to provide feedback at an event held at the

Stock Exchange, London on Tuesday 2nd December.

The aim of the Standard is to provide an international benchmark for

financial planners to work towards. ISO members have developed the standard

over the last three years, which means that it recognises experience and

best practices from around the world. The intention is to improve levels of

financial planning and to increase recognition of the financial planning

process to ultimately benefit the consumer.

The standard has four core parts:

* definition, process and practice

* competencies

* ethics

* experience

The ISO standard is due to be introduced towards the end of 2005. It will be

implemented in the UK as a BS ISO Standard. It is also likely that the BS

ISO will form a significant part of the UK's examination framework that is

being developed by the Skills Council for Financial Services (SCFS). Prof.

David Jackman, CEO of SCFS and chairman of the BSI Financial Services

committee, says:

"The draft represents a significant step forward in offering a higher

standard than the regulatory benchmark and helps in identifying the

essential elements of the financial planning discipline. The standard is the

result of close cooperation between a wide range of industry and

professional bodies both in the UK and internationally. The BSI and ISO

brands offer consumers a clear and easily recognisable designation of


Over 30 organisations are represented on the BSI committee (details of

member organisations are available from the committee secretary, Carol

Eddleston at [email protected]

). Significantly, the UK bodies have

united under the BSI banner to develop the UK consensus. In turn the

committee has appointed ten individuals to represent the UK on the

international working groups.

Carol Eddleston of BSI adds: ""Many financial advisers already offer a high

standard of advice but it is often difficult for consumers to identify who

these individuals are. The ISO will provide a valuable indication and will

help to re-establish confidence to the benefit of consumers and the industry


Copies of these drafts are available from BSI Customer Services on tel: 020

8996 9001, fax: 020 8996 7001 or email: [email protected]

as follows:

03/116070DC - Draft ISO 21551 Personal financial planning - Definition and

process of personal financial planning

03/116071DC - Draft ISO 21555 Personal financial planning - Requirements for

competence of a personal financial planner

03/116072DC - Draft ISO 15551 Personal financial planning - Ethical


03/116073DC - Draft ISO 23449 Personal financial planning - Experience


They are available as a special priced kit for £40.00 or separately for

£20.00 each.