The Opinium Research survey of 230 IFAs found that just one per cent would oppose a legal challenge and 18 per cent are undecided.
However, if an alternative organisation was to mount a legal challenge 50 per cent say they would show their support, 18 per cent would not and 31 per cent are undecided.
Aifa director general Chris Cummings told Money Marketing this week that the trade body was still waiting for legal opinion regarding the chances of overturning the FSCS’s decision to impose an £80m interim levy on advisers.
He says: “We are looking at two aspects. Firstly has FSCS observed due process? It seems to me they have which is unfortunate. The wider issue is in terms of a regulatory failure by the FSA to subject Keydata to sufficient authorisation checks and ongoing supervision- were they failing to portray themselves in a clear, fair and not misleading way?
“Comments that have come back from FSA are that they have considerably tightened their authorisations procedure, they have introduced the enhanced supervision procedure and are pursuing a more intrusive supervisory regime which is why firms like Keydata are coming out. That is cold comfort to firms that are subject to this unwarranted bill.
“This is so obviously a bill that the IFA community should not be paying that it does put in doubt the operational legitimacy of the compensation scheme because it should not have come to us. Firms are right to feel aggrieved and to feel shabbily treated partly by the Compensation Scheme and partly by the FSA, there is a shared liability.”
Regulatory Legal says it has around 130 advisers signed up to launch a judicial review against the decision, but it may require 1000.
Partner Gareth Fatchett says: “The decisions made by the FSCS show scant regard for the actuality of what happened. The industry needs to show it has the stomach to fight this grossly unfair levy.”
The survey also reveals that 66 per cent of IFAs think it is unfair that IFAs and stock brokers are in the same category for the FSCS compensation scheme where investment advice is concerned.
Ninety per cent think the industry levy has offered an unfair deal to IFAs and 61 per cent think fund managers and plan administrators should equally shoulder the burden of the levy.
Around one in five of advisers say the levy will either have a huge impact on them, or even put them out of business with 16 per cent saying they will not be able to afford to meet the levy demands.
Opinium Research associate director Matthew Webster says: “This is a significant issue for the industry and it is worrying to see that a fifth of IFAs say the levy would have a significant negative impact on their business.”
themoneydebate.co.uk editor John Lappin says: “Even after a huge financial crisis, if the arrangements for the compensation are having such a dramatic impact on adviser businesses it is time to think again. This is not just because it is unfair, and it is definitely unfair, but also because it risks leaving an ever smaller pool of firms shouldering a higher proportion of the burden which eventually frustrates the whole point of having a scheme in the first place.”