Former Aifa director general Chris Cummings says the IFA trade body is in a “tragic” position and is urging advisers to rally behind the organisation.
Aifa made an operating deficit of £194,419 for the year to June 30, 2011. It has seen significant changes in the past 12 months. In February, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries split from Aifa to become a separate independent organisation.
In January, Cummings’ successor Stephen Gay left Aifa after just one year to join the Association of British Insurers. Aifa is yet to appoint a new director general.
Last July, Aifa said it will open its membership to restricted advisers, a move that angered some IFAs and prompted the formation of independent-only trade body IFA Centre.
Speaking to Money Marketing, TheCityUK chief executive Cummings says: “I think it is tragic that Aifa finds itself in such a difficult position and I sincerely hope that the financial advice profession comes together in order to ensure that it has the representation it deserves.
“There has never been a more important time for IFAs to have a strong representation body.”
TheCityUK is undertaking a review of the defined-contribution landscape ahead of automatic-enrolment.
Cummings says the review has led to discussions with policymakers over the need to extend the “nudge” principle behind auto-enrolment to self-employed workers.
He says: “A lot more thought in pension policy needs to be given to this issue. We are talking to various policymakers and Government departments about how that can come together.”