Outraged IFAs have hit back at the Office of Fair Trading director general John Bridgeman over accusations in a radio interview that they are already multi-tied.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Inside Money, Bridgeman questioned the independence of IFAs.
He also claimed his much-delayed report on polarisation did not recommend a third category of adviser because multi-ties already exist among both IFAs and tied agents.
He also appeared to contradict the report when he told listeners that he did not think the term "multi-tie" was helpful. His report makes repeated reference to multi-ties.
Bridgeman also described his work as a "technical report" for the Treasury, "not a report which was designed essentially to help to make things understandable and clear for consumers".
Later in the interview he advised consumers to read the report.
IFA Association head of technical services Fay Goddard, who is moving to the new trade body next week next week, says: "We would contest any accusation of IFAs already being multi-tied.
"It sounded like the obviously confused leading the already confused into even deeper confusion."
Financial Options Group sales and marketing director Andrew Bedford says: "We are not multi-tied and would never wish to be. If he has any evidence of multi-ties then we would be happy to see it."