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Co-op in talks with buyer for IFA arm

The Co-operative Bank is in exclusive talks with a potential buyer for its IFA arm.

Last month Money Marketing revealed that Co-op was looking to offload its adviser arm, Co-operative Independent Financial Advisers.
CIFA has 120 staff, around half of which are advisers.

A spokesman says:”Following the merger between Co-operative Financial Services and Britannia, integration is underway to bring the two businesses
together with the aim of best positioning the company.

“As part of this integration, we are exploring a number of strategic options for our independent financial adviser arm – CIFA.

“Our preferred option is the potential sale of the business and we are in advanced discussions on an exclusive basis with a third party.”

He adds: “Whatever final decision is taken, we will seek to minimise any impacts to our colleagues and customers. We will also continue to
consult with colleagues and our trade unions on any proposed changes.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. If the mighty Co-op cannot see the benefit of Independent Financial Advice for their customers and AIFA suggesting we all consider our options????
    Sadly I have just remembered my family’s Co-op number 2468427, WOW where did that come from! anyone else remeber ?

  2. Towry Law will probably take it on for quid, even though it doesn’t have £6m annual trail commission attaching. It’s all more money to be churned into TL’s own funds at the earliest possible opportunity.

  3. As an ex-IFA with CIFA it baffles me who would want to buy such a book. A large portion of the business was full initial commission onshore bonds taken at 7-8%. They have undergone a massive review of past business and found the compliance is lacking and they lost a lot of staff over the last 2 years and a lot of their better clients too. What is there to buy?

  4. “As an ex-IFA with CIFA it baffles me who would want to buy such a book. A large portion of the business was full initial commission onshore bonds taken at 7-8%. They lost a lot of staff over the last 2 years and a lot of their better clients too. What is there to buy?”

    World’s largest churn potential? Ring Norris McWhirter?

  5. How the company can say that they have consulted staff is a disgrace. This company is anything but the ethical organisation that it proports to be.

    The clients are loyal to the brand and any new company will have an uphill battle to get them to change. As a customer and memeber of staff this decision is the thin end of the wedge for CFS.

  6. I joined CIFA after advisers were kicked out of the branches and replaced with CIS salesmen. The IFAs were consequently cut off from new business and given a book of existing customers, all of which had been sold With Profits Bonds. The instructions were basically to tell the customers that these were now crap and that they should go for a shiny new bond for another 7%.

    It was ‘Cascade Management’ at it’s worst (Standard Life’s disbanded direct sales hierarchy) and the sooner this IFA turns it’s toes up, the better.

    The Ethical Bank, I think not

  7. The Co-operative movement can no longer call itself moral or ethical with consideration for its staff and customers. It has not consulted its staff properly over this issue. It should have offered VR to staff who want it before the process with a third party started. Even at this late stage customers have deliberately been left in the dark.

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