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Multi-choice on multi-ties

So Bankhall believes that only it and its major rival Sesame can credibly offer multi-ties.

It has already spent £9m and expects this to reach £15m. It believes half of its advisers will seek to set up a multi-tie business but it will also rent out its service to others, whether other IFA organisations or banks and building societies.

The suggestion that other smaller IFA groups cannot hope to create a successful model may lead several rival executives to choke on their morning coffee as they read of the plans but there is no doubting the group&#39s ambition.

The plans emerge just a week after The Exchange set out its case as an all singing all dancing multi-tie platform offering its services both to provider-based operations and to distributor firms.

The scene is set for the big multi-tied push, which will inevitably see a significant proportion of the IFA market changing status while some other currently tied players will also use depolarisation to stock more providers&#39 products on their shelves.

There will be much at stake for advisers, including the promise of higher margins for taking the multi-tie option, plus the obvious cost reduction of not having to deal with so many companies. So a mass migration to multi-tied status then? Not yet at least.

There are several variables which will prevent any accurate prediction of how the market will look three or four years down the line.

There is, of course, many IFAs&#39 attachment to independence but what of servicing clients with contracts from companies outside the multi-tie and the vexed issue of professional referrals?

These are three factors which will provide something of a brake. But it will not be long before IFAs get a clear picture of the options before them.

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