Aifa did not issue the Association of British Insurers’ guidance on critical-illness sales to members for three months following confusion over which trade body was responsible for its distribution.
The ABI launched its oral disclosure project, developed with Lifesearch managing director Tom Baigrie, last July.
The project, which included plans to produce adviser checklists and template scripts, was met with concern by some in the industry that the trade body was overstepping its remit.
The ABI maintained that the project would serve as guidance for advisers rather than rules and says trade bodies, including Aifa, were resp-onsible for distributing the guidance to members.
But when the final guidance came out, it was not published on Aifa’s website until Christmas, three months after it was first distributed by the ABI.
A spokesman for the ABI says: “We sent the guidance out to members last September. The trade associations involved in the project were the ABI, Aifa, the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association and the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
“Each trade association is responsible for distribution to its members. The ABI has distributed the document to our members and it is for other trade associations to do the same. Advisers can get one from their own trade association and in the case of adviser firms, this would be Aifa.”
The guidance is still available on the Aifa website and is also available from Aifa on request.
An Aifa spokesman says: “The guidance is available via the ABI, providers and on the Aifa website.
“The ABI may have thought that Aifa would more form- ally distribute its guidance to members but there was no agreement in place.”