With New Labour seemingly cruising on automatic to a majority, it is make
or break time for IFAs. The industry faces a massive challenge on
disclosure, polarisation and the son of Myners review, which will, among
other things, investigate alleged commission bias.
Catmarks, stakeholder price capping and mortgage regulation, or the lack
of it, are causing grief both for the industry and,we contend, consumers.
In the face of this, IFAs who are convinced they have a valid point of view
seem to be ignored. Step forward Aifa and its “new alliance” with IFA
Promotion, Advice First. Aifa plans to submit a paper to the Government on
the value of advice. The public wants advice and providers believe in it.
It is difficult to believe that the FSA could have any problem with the
public getting good independent advice.
Between the regulator, the industry and advisers themselves, the British
public now have access to a valuable resource. Advisers are not perfect.
Some need to increase their investment knowledge, others must consider
whether they rely too much on up-front commission. But on the whole they do
a very good job.
Even senior ministers such as Alistair Darling believe advice is necessary
but other powerful people do not. IFAs must do everything they can to
convince the Gov-ernment of their value and back Aifa's initiative to the
hilt. Money Marketing hopes this is a case of cometh the hour, cometh the
man. Over to you, Mr Smee.