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Advisers need to pay for an effective trade body

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In response to last week’s column by Nic Cicutti on Stephen Gay’s departure from Aifa.

Nic, it is pretty straightforward. IFAs need to decide if they want an effective trade body. If they do, they will have to put their hand in their pocket and pay for it.

Currently, 50 per cent of Aifa’s income comes from life offices, which is quite ironic when many IFAs want to demonstrate their “independence”.

The other half, which is way short of what it needs to be sustainable, is mainly from network fees who have negotiated fees from their own trade body that are a fraction of the going rate, for example, about £65 versus £365.

I had discussions with Steve Gay about how funding could be made more sustainable. I was quite prepared to give more financial support in the short term in return for fees being reformed and IFAs taking more responsibility for its financial affairs. I suspect Steve was not able to persuade the board to put their own vested interests aside.

David Barral
Chief executive officer, Aviva UK Life

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Readers' comments (3)

  • You tell 'em David.

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  • It is reassuring to see a leading industry figure who has a good grasp of the situation and can clearly identify where the problem lies.

    If only we knew how to fix it!

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  • David:

    Your trade association, the ABI, deliberately worked with New Labour to undermine the IFAs perfectly solvent and well resourced Trade Assocation IFAA. You invested over £300k to invent an association to compromise your distributors' voice

    You and other providers have benefited from the removal of polarisation. You are about to get the vast majority of middle income consumers for your direct marketing sales and you have neutered the independent sector who quite correctly refuse to support an association who can only use the tactics dictated by the ABI.

    The problem is that AIFA is essentially run by providers and networks who both refuse to fund properly and make little to no profit so will no last in the long term. They are going to make AIFA's decisions - for whom?

    The smaller independent IFAs wont have anything to do with it as it refuses to fight for them.

    It is a mess. We will see 20 -40% of capacity leaving the independent sector in December with more leaving when they dscover their clients won't pay fees.

    What is left isnt big enough to run an association!

    Still the consumer can depend on Insurance companies to treat their clients fairly by selling ther details to ambulance chasers - upping the cost of insurance for all.

    Gee thanks


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