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AA closes down its IFA business

The AA has quietly closed the doors on its IFA business less than a year after becoming fully operational, blaming September 11 and plunging stockmarkets.

AA Financial Services shut up shop in April after just seven fully operational months but the firm remained tight-lipped about the closure until now.

It opened on an executiononly basis in January 2001, offering full advice from September 2001, but the decision was taken as early as January 2002 to close to new business and wind down within three months after the resignation of managing director Mark Taylor and his deputy Julie Rich-ards in December 2001.

The insurance broker, which had four RIs and six support staff as well as a its own IFA management team, claims the failure of the venture is due to the aftermath of September 11 and general downturn in the number of people wanting to invest. It says that being new to the market at a difficult time and too small to take advantage of economies of scale was its disadvantage.

AA head of PR Rebecca Hadley says: “It is not in the equation to restart the IFA. We have done a lot of work on the AA brand and we are looking to extend our products, but not into independent advice.

“On paper it could work but all the other factors need to be right.”

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