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Advisers under-credited for charitable work

Advisers rarely get the credit they deserve for the amount of charitable and pro bono work they perform, according to Financial Planning Association chief executive Mark Rantall.

Rantall was responding to an ifa straw poll that drew 142 responses and which asked advisers how much of their total work was pro bono.

While three in 10 respondents indicated they did not perform any pro bono work, just over four in 10 said up to 10 per cent of their workload was pro bono. That left almost three in 10 (28.9 per cent) who said more than 10 per cent of their total workload was pro bono.

Rantall said the survey results were roughly in line with his expectations.

“I’d have thought about 70 to 80 per cent of planners would undertake pro bono of some description,” he said.

This includes planners who do various forms of community work that they may not even regard as charitable work, such as serving in a financial capacity on a school committee or some other form of community service.

Financial planners in general do what they do because they want to help people, Rantall said.


“In some circumstances, they can’t always get paid for that but that is the overall driver of the pro bono work they do,” he said.

“They live in local communities, they want to help their local communities, there are always examples where people are really struggling and they need a hand and we see financial planners come to the fore and want to help them,” he said.

Rantall used the example of a planner recently who had a couple who were clients that were struggling financially and wanted to let their trauma insurance lapse, and the planner tried to talk them out of it.

They let it lapse anyway in January, then in February the wife was diagnosed with cancer. “The financial planner fought hard on their behalf to get the insurance company to honour the claim even though policy had lapsed – you hear those sorts of stories all the time but generally they’re not published,” Rantall said.

Click here to have your say in the latest straw poll.