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Cometh the hour, cometh the need for Advice First

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&#39s initiative to the

hilt. Money Marketing hopes this is a case of cometh the hour, cometh the

man. Over to you, Mr Smee.

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