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Aifa report focuses on value of advice

Aifa highlights the value of advice and encourages people to focus less on cost in its annual report for 2001.

Chairman Lord Hunt says in the report: “In recent times, we have heard much about the cost of advice. Now we need to hear about the value of advice.”

The report says there are positive signs that the public and the regulators are starting to appreciate the role of advice more in ensuring they buy the most appropriate product for their needs.

It says although many in the financial services sector have been focusing on reducing cost and the potential of the likes of decision trees and internet sites in replicating the roles of advi-sers, the public does not share this enthusiasm.

Lord Hunt believes advice still has an important role to play and says Aifa will build on this theme in the coming year to ensure that any attempts to write face-to-face advisers out of the equation are thwarted.

The report says Aifa has been “busier than ever” and this activity shows no sign of abating, with continuing consultation papers and reviews. In the past year, Aifa says it has responded to every paper relevant to IFAs on behalf of its members and it has called on the Government and regulator for a “review of the reviews”, saying there are too many.

Lord Hunt says: “How the IFA practice is meant to make an input when all these subjects jostle for attention alongside the pressing needs of clients and of running successful businesses is hard to imagine.

“The authorities should be more sensitive to the cumulative demands which they place on firms.”


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