Apfa is considering making membership free and automatic for all advisers and charging for additional services, Money Marketing understands.
The trade body held an away day for council members last month at which they were divided into groups and told to devise ideas to expand membership and get more advisers on board.
One group proposed that every adviser should become a member of Apfa by default, which would boost the trade body’s lobbying credibility. Apfa says it currently represents about 65 per cent of the adviser market.
Default membership would be free, and advisers would be able to choose from a number of paid-for additional services.
If the proposal goes ahead, it is thought it could be implemented as early as this year.
A spokesman for Apfa says: “Apfa recently had a strategy day to discuss its future role against the backdrop of far-reaching change within the profession.
“Discussions were wide ranging and some of the thinking extremely insightful and creative, with lots of ideas to consider. Some of these ideas might surface in the future and some will not, but before then a lot of further discussion and refinement is required. It is early days.”
Evolve Financial Planning director James Norton says: “This idea has the right intentions but seems slightly disingenuous. Union membership and the Labour Party springs to mind – to say you have 100 per cent membership and therefore 100 per cent support is wrong.”
Apfa currently charges an annual membership fee of £238 per firm, plus an additional £113 for each registered individual at the firm. Companies with more than 10 registered individuals pay slightly more.