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IFA numbers increase by 40% in three years

The number of IFAs has rocketed by over 40 per cent in three years to well over 32,000, according to FSA figures.

Figures obtained by MM in April already indicated a surge in numbers. The number of IFAs registered with the FSA soared by 43 per cent to 32,181 in 2001 from 21,879 in 1998.

The biggest jump was bet-ween 2000 and 2001 when numbers leapt by 2,408 to 32,181 from 29,773 as many life offices shed their direct salesforces. The figures, highlighted at the FSA open meeting on polarisation, led chairman Howard Davies to say that, while the IFA market faces challenges such as new products and charging caps, it has shown it can adapt to change.

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “This figure should come as no surprise. It shows the FSA should think long and hard before tinkering with polarisation.”

LIA public affairs director John Ellis says: “This is very good news for the IFA sector and raises the question should all advice be independent as this is what the market seems to be coming to.”

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