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Misys likely to take distributor status

Misys IFA Services has accepted most of its members will probably be

unable to remain independent in a depolarised regime because a move

to fees would cripple their businesses and deny clients&#39 choice.

The giant network looks set to opt for distributor status for most of

its members while researching the whole market.

The move comes as the FSA appears to be promoting the option of IFAs

dropping the independent tag but continuing to operate on a

commission basis, allowing them to remain independent in all but name.

In an article in Money Marketing this week, Misys marketing director

Andrew Bedford says IFAs may want to remain independents but only a

few member firms will be able to do so. He says Misys believes most

members will maintain membership of a distributor firm researching

the whole market.

Speaking at the Retail Fin-ancial Services After Sandler conference

in London last week, FSA head of conduct of business David Severn

spoke favourably about the AFA option, which until now has been

largely overlooked.

The FSA does not have the authority to ban commission but it can say

that, to remain an IFA, an adviser must operate in a defined-payment

system, which establishes an up-front charge and then offsets fees or

commission against it.

Despite only being briefly mentioned in CP121, Severn, who is head of

the FSA&#39s pol-arisation review, spoke at length about the AFA option

both at the conference and in a BBC radio interview a few days


A conference delegate says: “Severn emphasised the AFA option. He was

explicit about it, in exactly the same way as he did on radio.”

Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “Severn is realising that

people still need to ply their trade, that he can&#39t make it

impossible for them.”

Bedford, p16


The generation game

While the FSA&#39s proposals may not seem immediately attractive toIFAs, this particular cloud may yet have a silver lining. FSAchairman Howard Davies said: “Our aim is to secure long-termimprovements for consumers through greater choice in the financialproducts available to them.”The current interpretation of “choice” is that it refers primarily tothe sales channel and through that […]

Breaking barriers

Tackling financial exclusion has been an important aspect of theGovernment drive to combat social exclusion. People are financiallyexcluded when they do not have access to basic financial services.The Government&#39s own social exclusion unit has estimated that about10 per cent of the adult population (around four million people) arewithout a bank or building society account. Around […]

Helpful distortion

It appears that among the reasons given by the FSA to abandonpolarisation is that it is a major market distortion. This does notconstitute a reason for change.In a free market, the powerful and well informed exploit the weaknessand ignorance of those with whom they deal. Before 1986, financialconsumers, who largely exhibit the latter qualities, had […]

The state of the IFA nation is healthy

IFAs are optimistic about their business prospects and see only otherIFAs as serious rivals to their market dominance, according toexclusive research for Money Marketing and Virgin One.The State of the IFA Nation survey of Money Marketing readers,conducted in association with Virgin One, shows 84 per cent of IFAsare optimistic about their future business.Banks are seen […]


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