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Incentives could make IFAs change models

Most IFAs say they would con-sider changing their business model if the FSA offered financial or other incentives to become a professional financial planner, according to Aegon’s latest IFA Insights survey.

Sixty-one per cent of adv-isers said they would consider gaining higher qualifications and introducing customer agreed remuner-ation to fit the FSA’s proposed “professional model” if the regulator made it less attractive to be a general financial adviser.

Hulbert Financial Services proprietor Jeremy Hulbert says: “I am always prepared to change because I run a business. So in order to stay afloat, I have been successful by changing the model but it depends on the incentive.”

Only one-third of advisers said they would not consider changing business models, even if offered incentives.

The survey of 100 advisers found some have been slowly shifting business models to fit what is likely to become the future FSA guidelines. But some advisers still dislike the “professional” model.

Brunning Newman Houghton director David Brunning says: “We are already working towards the professional model but incentives alone would not make me change my model. What it will do is make all levels of financial advice less accessible to the public.”

Sole practitioner Tony Catt says he would change his business model if the regulator made being a general financial adviser more expensive.

He says he would appreciate FSA incentives but is concerned at how practical their application would be.

Catt says: “There will be fallout, certainly from the point of view that the retail distribution review is looking towards advisers having greater asset bases and things like that. If there are any financial incentives that would be wonderful but I cannot think of what they would do to make people change.”

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