LAW firms could be prevented from handling discrete investment business (DIB) next year if they do not have qualified people in charge of the area, the Law Society has warned.
The society has received only 70 applications so far from people wanting approval as a "qualified person" to handle DIB.
Speaking at the Solicitors for Independent Financial Advice conference in London, the society's monitoring unit head, Bob Butler, said: "We had expected more applications at this stage."
He warned that firms could miss next year's 1 November deadline if there was a flood of applicants looking for approval by the authorisation casework committee. "They might have to stop doing DIB," he said.
The committee would vet applicants, who need not be solicitors, on their experience and qualifications.
Butler said if their application was rejected they would have to pass exams.
He said the society was setting up financial services examinations, run by the Securities Institute and the first of these would be held in January and run on a monthly basis at four centres.
The Chartered Insurance Institute's financial planning certificate would also meet part of the society's requirements.