Berry & Oak are proud to have been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Chartered Financial Planners’ for our firm, by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). This title is only awarded to firms committed to developing and maintaining the knowledge and capability of their people so they can deliver the highest quality advice to their clients, but what does it mean if someone is a chartered financial planner? And why is working with a chartered financial planner better for you, the client?

Chartered Financial Planner status is regulated by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). There are two different types of status that can be awarded by the CII to financial planners, individual and corporate status.

At an individual level this has typically involved Personal Finance Society (PFS) membership, study for professional qualifications and completing sufficient appropriate continuing professional development (CPD). Many financial planners aspire to use designatory letters and titles as a badge of their professionalism, the pinnacle being ‘Chartered Financial Planner’ status.

For businesses there is also the ‘Corporate ‘Chartered Financial Planners’ status which allows a firm to demonstrate their professional commitment. Chartered firms must ensure staff members acquire and retain the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver the highest quality advice. They must also work in an ethical manner that places clients’ interests at the heart of the advice they give.

Granted by the Privy Council, the Chartered title gives financial planning firms parity with other professionals, such as accountants and solicitors. It also distinguishes these firms from their competitors and strengthens bonds of confidence and trust with consumers. With currently just over 900 firms of ‘Chartered Financial Planners’ in the UK, it remains an exclusive and valuable distinction.

Genuine professionalism has never been so valued – or so necessary. The Chartered titles awarded by the CII are steeped in history, but they remain the “gold standard” of excellence and integrity.

It also helps these firms to attract and retain the best staff. Talented professionals want to work for ambitious, principled organisations, and corporate Chartered status is a clear indicator of the professional standing of a potential employer.

There are six compulsory criteria that must be met by successful firms. The Chartered scheme is underpinned by comprehensive monitoring and disciplinary procedures to ensure compliance with the scheme rules and the maintenance of standards. Having satisfied the acceptance criteria for Chartered status, financial planning firms are eligible to describe themselves as ‘Chartered Financial Planners’.

This means they can hold themselves out as being dedicated to the highest levels of customer advice, service, and ongoing support through a commitment to standards of technical and ethical excellence.

Chartered firms must also follow a demanding code of ethical practice. This means they must work in an ethical manner that places clients’ interests at the heart of the advice they give.

Why you should use a firm of Chartered Financial Planners?
Chartered status brings with it serious obligations. These firms are required to ensure the advice, service, and ongoing support they provide to you is:
• Of the highest quality
• based solely on your researched needs
• provided by someone operating within their level of competency.

These firms are expected to meet their obligations in several ways
• A commitment to the technical and professional development of staff, such as through professional qualifications
• All staff members who deal with customers belong to the industry’s professional body, the CII, and adhere to its Code of Ethics, which is enforced through disciplinary sanctions
A Chartered title is a commitment to an overall standard of customer excellence and professionalism.

To find a registered Corporate Chartered Firm you can visit https://www.cii.co.uk/membership/join-us/chartered/chartered-firm-search/

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