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's 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's 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?