Allied Dunbar offers financial training courses

Financial services group Allied Dunbar begins a series of introductory-level financial services training courses for solicitors next month, as part of a renewed marketing drive into the professional market.

To mark the launch of the programme, Allied Dunbar is offering six free places on the opening course module to The Lawyer readers on a first-come-first-served basis (see below).

The group has developed the course in conjunction with Stephan Holmes, partner at Southport firm Carter Hodge.

Karl Snowden, head of Allied Dunbar's professional business division says: "We have spoken to many solicitors in the preparation of these courses and believe we know what they need to develop their financial services activities."

Allied Dunbar is seeking Law Society approval for the basic courses.

More advanced courses are covered by Chartered Insurance Institute exams, which are accepted by the Law Society.

The courses, which will be held at Allied Dunbar's Wiltshire training centre, cover a wide range of subjects and range in length from one-day to five days' residential. They are:

* Developing a profitable practice – financial services option?

* Developing an effective financial services department.

* Effective financial advisory skills.

* Introduction to financial planning (resulting in CII-FPC1 certification).

* Financial services products and their applications.

The launch of the courses coincides with a move to "total commission flexibility" for all products offered by the life office from 1 January 1995.

Snowden says the move will allow fee-based solicitors to charge up-front fees and "use all commission to enhance a product", or opt to reclaim fees from rebated commission.

* For more details, call the Allied Dunbar helpline on 0345 778811. Those interested in free places on the course on 17 January should specify that they are readers of The Lawyer.