Jersey Finance has welcomed recent proposals from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) relating to the qualifications needed by and the remuneration of financial advisers in Jersey.

The proposals are based on the results of the JFSC’s Review of Financial Advice Feedback paper and are intended to take effect from 1 January 2014, a year after the corresponding changes are introduced in the UK through the Retail Distribution Review.

Primarily the proposals in Jersey will make a distinction between ‘professional’ and ‘retail’ clients, with a main feature of the new regime being that advisors in Jersey will be required to hold appropriate qualifications at level 4 or above to give financial advice to retail clients. In addition, there will be a ban on commission payments for advice to Jersey-resident retail clients. These requirements will not apply to advice given to professional clients.

The moves bring Jersey in line with the criteria outlined in the UK’s Retail Distribution Review and are seen as a further commitment by Jersey to continue to drive up standards of local financial advisers and acknowledge UK standards of financial advice.

Geoff Cook, chief executive, Jersey Finance, said:

“Providing the highest possible standards of financial advice is vitally important to Jersey across all sectors of the finance industry, so introducing these proposals from the JFSC, which bring Jersey fully in line with the UK’s Retail Distribution Review, is a sensible move that should give confidence to all of our clients.

“They strike a good balance, giving retail clients the security and safety they need, whilst maintaining the flexibility expected by more professional clients. We welcome the clarification offered by these proposals, which again demonstrate Jersey’s willingness to listen to UK regulatory standards.”