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IFAs by any other name

Hey, everyone, relax. This is a consultative paper so it is likely that the eventual changes will be different, anyway – they invariably are.

But let us assume they are not. Everyone seems to have overlooked that sitting nicely in between the multi-tie and independent adviser is the “authorised” adviser (look at section four of CP121).

You can still receive income on a commission basis and you can still look at the whole market when deciding on the choice of product for your client and you can still send them direct-offer letters.

Ummm…sounds to me just like the current definition of an IFA but, sorry chaps, you cannot call yourself “independent”. As it stands,I can see a lot of commission-based IFAs opting for that. Surely, your clients are hardly likely to overly worry, are they?

OK, so “independents” can only receive fees but, come on, look at the proposals. They are flawed. You charge your client a fee but, actually, you can still receive commission.

Seems to me that if your terms of business say the agreed fee is not payable for three months, by then you will have been paid by the provider and the FSA has said that you do not have to chase a client for any outstanding fees if unpaid.

This is the death knell for networks? I think not. I can see a place in mine as the proposals currently stand for independent and authorised advisers quite easily.

Ian McIver

Managing director,

The Whitechurch Network,

Bristol

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