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Aifa confident most IFAs will be spared case fees

Cummings hails the trade body’s successes one year after he became director general

Aifa director general Chris Cummings is optimistic that the majority of IFAs will not have to pay case fees when the ombudsman’s funding review is completed.

Speaking a year after taking on the Aifa role, Cummings believes the Financial Ombudsman Service will agree to advisers being allowed 10 cases a year before fees are levied.

Cummings says Aifa has achieved a number of victories in his first year by successfully pushing for funding reviews at the FOS and Financial Services Compensation Scheme, as well as an FSA-sponsored study into the true cost of regulation and widen its membership base.

He says Aifa relies on the support of advisers to push through reforms and this will be essential to persuade the Association of British Insurers to back down to recommend its members to pay more into the FSCS.

Cummings says: “I am delighted we have secured the ombudsman review. We wanted to get to a position where innocence is free and the majority of firms will not have to pay a case fee but 10 free cases should not count at network level but at AR level.

“I wanted to grow our membership base and we have gone from 70 to 80 per cent of the market. We have also managed to enhance our voice in Europe.”

Cummings says although he supports the FSA’s survey into the cost of regulation, he is disappointed by the lack of results so far.

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