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&#39Danger&#39 survey is slammed by IFAs

IFAs have criticised a report which claims that around a fifth of the IFA sector is in financial “danger”.

Plimsoll Publishing&#39s survey claims to analyse 781 IFA firms, giving each a financial rating category of strong, good, mediocre, caution or danger, based on figures obtained from the UK registrar of companies.

This has provoked an angry reaction from some IFAs placed in the danger category. They say the figures used are from as early as quarter one of 2001 and do not include performance in the last quarter of 2002.

Inter-Alliance refutes any claim that it could be in danger and Towry Law says the survey ignores structural changes it made in 2002.

Torquil Clark says the Plimsoll report should not be used as a research tool by investors considering IFA firms.

Plimsoll Publishing analyst David Pattison says: “We are always sensitive to any information we receive on companies. It is helpful to know how these companies have improved. This will be reflected in our future analyses.”

Misys head of communications Paul Charles says: “We strongly doubt the credibility of some of the figures on which Plimsoll is basing this analysis.”

Millfield chief executive Paul Tebbutt says: “I am absolutely astounded by any report that could possibly classify Millfield as in danger. The statistics do not even take cashflow into account.”

Towry Law PR director Fiona Cornes says: “They have not looked at our 2002 figures. They have not taken into account changes to our cost management process last year, including cutting out duplication, and we are now very confident about the future.”

Torquil Clark managing director Don Clark says: “If you were looking at buying shares in IFAs or if you were a fund manager setting up a portfolio you would not use the Plimsoll report. Its information is 18 months out of date.”

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