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My network does not make me less independent

I am prompted to write in defence of IFA networks. I have read that the popular network practice of employing provider panels is making network members "less than independent".

As a member of the Interdependence network, the suggestion seems like nonsense to me.

Interdependence do operate a panel system. However, in 99 per cent of cases, the provider

I would have chosen is on the panel anyway. On the rare occasions that I have felt it necessary to go "off panel", I have had to do nothing more complicated than complete a simple one-page document explaining my choice of provider and reasons for that choice and fax it to the network&#39s research staff and, assuming the reasons are justifiable, I receive faxed-back approval to use that provider within 24 hours.

I have also noticed how frequently your correspondents complain about the service.

I joined Interdependence in 1994 and I have nothing but praise for their service.

Commission is paid promptly and accurately – so much so, that, if a query does arise, I no longer bother to speak to the network&#39s commission department but go straight to the life office, as it is, without exception, the fault of the latter.

Compliance staff treat me as a responsible adult (PIA/FSA take note) and the research facilities are helpful without being restrictive.

All of which makes me wonder – have I just been lucky in my choice of network or are some IFAs perhaps the architects of their own misfortune?

Ivor Harper


London W8


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