It is time for IFA trade and representative bodies to ask themselves and their members some difficult questions.
This week sees the Money Marketing Virgin One State of the IFA poll suggest that not all IFAs are happy with Aifa's status as a representative organisation for IFAs, multi-ties and mortgage intermediaries. Many believe that independent advisers may need their own organisation.
Clearly Aifa consulted upon changes which allowed it to set up the AMI, which is one year old, thus allowing multi-ties into its structure.
We struggle to recall the full public debate on this issue although now it is done it is unlikely that anyone would have much stomach for a divorce. However, Aifa does need to look at some serious questions about how it moves forward representing at a minimum three types of adviser plus the various composites and it should hold this debate in public.
Clearly, as a company representative trade body as opposed to a professional body with individual members, the path is more difficult to navigate. Member firms have different views and individual IFA opinion may vary dramatically from their firms or networks and needs to be taken into account. The LIA and Sofa are asking themselves difficult questions and have been open about their plans.
IFA Promotion is also asking questions of IFAs, suggesting they may need to pay more. The reason for such soul searching is depolarisation and mortgage and general insurance regulation.
Of course, Aifa needs to concentrate on easing the regulatory burden on its members and addressing the PI crisis. But it also needs to explain publicly how it plans to represent the intermediary sector in the years ahead.