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FSA invites IFAs to interviews on CP121

The FSA has asked IFAs to come in for face-to-face interviews to gauge attitudes towards how their businesses will look following depolarisation.

The interviews will be conducted by research group Nera and will look to establish an idea of how many advisers will go fee-based and how many will look to become distributor firms.

The exercise forms part of the cost-benefit analysis that the FSA pledged to conduct before it proceeds with its CP121 depolarisation proposals. A spokeswoman says it is normal for a major CBA to be carried out by an external body such as Nera.

The list of topics to be touched upon during the interview does not mention the defined-payment system, leading some advisers to believe the FSA is moving further away from the idea.

The interview includes questions such as how and how many product providers will be chosen to tie to and whether or not advisers anticipate restrictions placed on them by those providers.

For those who intend to remain independent, they will be asked what impact depolarisation will have on product selection and the compliance costs they face.

The surveys are beginning this week, with Nera expected to report back to the FSA this summer.

Syndaxi Financial Planning principal Robert Reid says: “For the first time, it seems they are genuinely consulting with the industry.”

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