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While there seems to be a technology rush going on,
I really hope we don’t forget the importance of retaining finance
expertise within the fabric of our staff.

With the intense level of consolidation and
redundancy within the sector over the last 12 months, and the
increase in technological solutions, it would be very easy to lose
much of the expertise that has been amassed over the last 10
years.

We have been genuinely surprised at the calibre of
people that have been let go by larger organisations in the motor
finance sector.

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We are in danger of losing many of these people to
other industries, something which cannot be good for finance and
insurance.

Potentially more serious is the lack of new blood
that is finding its way into the industry.

We ourselves have been guilty of not helping to
develop enough new sales talent by relying on headhunting
established people from other organisations, although this is
likely to prove more difficult in the future.

This hopefully will drive companies to make more
effort to bring new people into the industry.

This, however, is challenging and there is bound to
be a lack of consistency in how this is done throughout the
industry.

This process could be made easier, however, by the
existence of a recognised qualification. This will provide a
standard which staff must aspire to before we stamp our own
methodology on them.

If such certification exists, beyond the FLA half
day seminars for motor dealer staff, then I am not aware of it.

With this in mind, perhaps the FLA could look at
developing such a course that could be sponsored by employers, and
which gives students a real qualification at the end of it.

The author is managing
director of DSG Financial Services Ltd