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Analyst finds UK IFAs in &#39enviously&#39 healthy financial position

More than half of UK IFA firms are in a strong financial position with healthy balance sheets and low debt levels, according to research by analyst Plimsoll.

The new study examining the finances of the 1,000 biggest IFAs, covering areas such as profit, debt, turnover and margins, rates 512 firms as “strong” with average margins of 12.7 per cent which it says puts them in an envious position.

Plimsoll places firms in one of five categories, strong, good, mediocre, caution or danger, based on their financial performance.

But the research warns IFAs against complacency, saying 199 or one in five are in the danger category and risk being forced out of the market.

It says those in danger have been in decline for years due to a combination of increasing debts and decreasing margins and are approaching the stage where debts are restricting the ability of management to make good business decisions.

Senior analyst David Pattison says: “I believe that the IFA industry has too many companies chasing too little market. These companies rated as danger have been in decline for years. But it is not all doom and gloom out there, with 512 companies being given a strong rating. These companies are worthy of envy.”


Watson Wyatt attacks actuary changes

Watson Wyatt is criticising the FSA&#39s with-profits proposals, saying changes to the role of the appointed actuary weaken protection for consumers.The firm of consulting actuaries says the FSA&#39s changes – which significantly reduce the role of the app-ointed actuary and place more responsibility in the hands of company directors – will not make for better […]

Product matters

The New Start mortgage for divorcees from The Mortgage Business is the second mortgage this year targeted at the increasing number of divorcees in the UK.The first, from Charcol, enabled a divorced partner to use maintenance income without a court order as a source of income for a mortgage.The New Start loan, marketed by The […]

BSA defends record on commercial lending

The Building Societies Association is criticising FSA chairman Howard Davies for singling out the sector&#39s approach to commercial lending.Speaking at the launch of at the De Montfort Study of the UK commercial property market last week, Davies said the FSA would be monitoring the “performance of a number of building societies whose commercial property loans […]

Pension firms struggling with divorce transfers

IFAs are struggling to find pension providers fully equipped to accept pension transfer business arising from divorce.Since December 2000, pension funds can be split on divorce and given to an ex-spouse in the form of a pension credit which can be placed theoretically elsewhere with another provider.But IFAs say many pension companies are unable to […]


What employers should expect over the next five years

A major feature of our articles is looking into the Jelf Employee Benefits crystal ball to predict changes and trends that may influence the short and medium term shape of UK employee benefits.  By flagging such changes early we aim to provide our followers with the tools to make sensible and informed decisions on their benefits offerings.


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