IFAs fear they will be left to shoulder much of the £100m cost of implementing the ABI's standard-raising initiative Saltr.
The ABI says implementation of the project will cost the industry £100m and individual life offices as much as £8m each.
Saltr aims to raise indus-try standards by awarding companies an accreditation mark once they meet certain criteria.
But some IFA representatives believe the costs will filter down to independent advisers at a time when margins are already being squeezed despite the ABI's insistence it will not cost IFAs a penny.
ABI spokesman Vic Rance says IFAs will escape any cost as they will not have to become accredited.
But Sofa spokesman Robert Reid says IFAs may incur hidden costs.
He says: “IFAs could suffer from a general reduction in commission when the changes are implemented. This comes at a time when charges are already being held down as a result of stakeholder.”
Hargreaves Lansdown man- aging director Peter Hargreaves says: “More bureaucracy creates more ineffic- iency. It will be £100m on the industry and then £100m on us and consumers will eventually pay somewhere down the line.”
IFAs and product providers are also concerned at the ABI's choices to head Saltr's pensions, protection and investments accreditation board, with both chairman Sir Michael Bett and chief executive John Cox unknown within the industry.
Bett is currently First Commissioner for the Civil Service and was formerly chairman of the Cellnet Group while Cox spent nearly 30 years at Shell Chemicals.