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KPMG alters web report in dispute over ‘IFA’ definition

KPMG has responded to industry pressure by amending the wording of a report published on the FSA’s website to avoid confusing consumers with its use of the term “IFA”.

IFA Promotion chief executive David Elms contacted KPMG to request that its report wording be changed, saying it was at risk of misleading consumers over what constitutes independent financial advice.

The report had stated: “The term IFA is used in its broadest sense to cover providers of financial advice, including independent intermediaries, multi-ties and appointed representatives.”

Elms told KPMG: “I suggest there is a continuing risk that the report may mislead people looking for local financial advice as to what constitutes independent financial advice.”

KPMG has now amended the wording of the report. Strategic and commercial intelligence director Jeremy Oakley says: “I have agreed with the FSA to amend the report as discussed for the avoidance of any potential doubt in the minds of readers. We will alter the title reference to financial adviser and remove the sentence.”

Worldwide Financial Planning managing director Peter McGahan says: “This was unfair to customers who believe they are receiving independent financial advice but are actually receiving very limited advice from a company salesman who chooses this inferior option for his benefit rather than the consumers.”

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