Apfa council member and small IFA Neil Liversidge makes an impassioned plea in this week’s issue for advisers to sign up to the trade body.
Liversidge compares it to the Motorcycle Action Group he is also part of, pointing out that both the MAG and Apfa do some great work but receive relatively little support from the community they serve.
There are probably a host of reasons why advisers have failed to sign up.
The nature of lobbying means much of the hard work needs to be done behind the scenes and that victories, sometimes clinched early in the policy-making cycle, are often kept quiet.
Apfa has recognised the need to shout a bit louder about what it is doing but it cannot make everything it achieves public for members to inspect.
Another problem with being a representative body is that everyone gets the benefit of most of what you do whether they are members or not. That can be a tough sell at the best of times.
With firms keeping an ever closer eye on fixed costs, the membership fee of £240 plus £100 per extra RI can easily fall into the “nice to have” rather than “essential” pile and end up being overlooked.
However, it should be seen as essential that the interests of advisers and their clients are properly represented as new rules and regulations are being drawn up
and debated in the UK, Europe and further afield. That representation
Following the closure of IFA Centre, Gill Cardy has joined Apfa and called on others to do the same. A united voice representing the adviser profession is far more powerful
than a number of groups fighting a similar cause.
The financial advice sector is never going to compete with the lobbying budgets of global corporate giants. But its position as an independent group of professionals focused on their clients’ best interests means it is often able to punch well above its weight in such circles.
That said, it has limited resources and needs as much funding as possible to continue to fight the corner for advisers and their clients on so many fronts.
A thriving advice profession needs to be properly represented at the policymaking table around which sit powerful groups with deep pockets whose interests are often at odds with those of advisers and the clients they serve. It’s time to get behind Apfa.