Multi-ties would massacre IFAs, claims LIA public affairs director John Ellis.
He says the introduction of multi-ties would be the worst-case scenario of the second round of the polarisation review and would leave IFAs the poor relation to tied agents that secure several deals with direct providers.
Ellis says: “The introduction of multi-ties would massacre IFAs. It is like the corner shop versus the supermarket, with personal service being sacrificed to financial muscle.”
He fears such a system would confuse the consumer. The system would be comp arable to the French market and Ellis says it already exists in the general insurance sector. He is concerned that a multi-tied system would be incentiveled and would be at the exp ense of best advice.
The FSA denies there is any fixed plan for multi-ties. Spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “The second phase of consultation is wide open. There could be no abolition of polarisation or it could be totally abolished. We have no hidden agenda.”
Aifa director of public affairs Tracey Mullins says: “We do not think multi-ties will be good for IFAs but the FSA has not made clear what form they will take.”
l Polarisation, p68