I am writing to you as the immediate past chair of the Berkshire IFA Group which is an informal group of IFAs who meet monthly to discuss matters of common interest and it has to be said, common frustration in our profession. It is the latter which is the driver behind my wishing to write this open letter.
We have all had and are still going through the gruelling experience of the RDR and are subject to what some might say the unfairness of some of the positions and decisions taken by the FCA and its predecessor the FSA.
There are very few options available to communicate our frustration and points of view in an effective way and I dare say some of us have expressed our views (grievances) to our MPs with little or no success.
At our last meeting in October we invited Gill Cardy of the IFA Centre to come and talk and she gave what was a very impressive presentation – logical, rational and objective. But it is struggling to survive and has only a membership of 98 firms and 238 individuals.
It seems to me that we are committing mass suicide if we let this only true voice of IFA’ slip away and with the only recourse being to our MPs and complaining amongst ourselves. If Gill were to fail from lack of support be it on our own heads.
The cost of membership is a relatively small sum (see www.ifacentre.org.uk) and to put it bluntly it’s time to “put up or shut up” if we want to be heard and be represented in a logical, reasonable and cohesive manner.
I, on behalf of our business and a good number of my fellow BIFAG members, have submitted our applications to the IFA Centre and would like to hope that more of the IFA community will do so to ensure the survival of this worthy organisation in our own interests.
The Hopwood Ash