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Over half of IFAs fear depolarisation threat

More than half of IFAs fear FSA changes to polarisation will be either a very significant or significant threat to their businesses, according to a survey conducted by Orc International.

In an extensive survey of IFAs&#39 reaction to the regulator&#39s proposed changes to polarisation carried out exclusively for Money Marketing, 56 per cent say the result will damage their businesses.

The group showing most concern is single-outlet IFAs, 66 per cent of whom are worried about scrapping polarisation, followed by 53 per cent of network members expressing fears. Only 17 per cent of national IFAs working from a head office say the proposals are a cause for concern and 42 per cent say it is not at all significant.

But 44 per cent of national IFAs in branch offices are either very significantly or significantly concerned and so are 45 per cent of regional IFAs.

When broken down by income, 61 per cent of IFAs earning £50,000-£100,000 a year and 63 per cent of those on £100,000-£250,000 express significant fears about their future.

The numbers drop as earnings rise, with 45 per cent of advisers earning more than £250,000 a year having fears about the changes.

Roberts Clark director Ashley Clark says: “The results do not surprise me. As far as I am concerned, it is probably one of the biggest changes to the industry since the original Financial Services Act. It is a nightmare scenario. It is a threat to our business but only on the basis if we do not react to it.”

The survey was conducted in January after the publication of CP121, with 233 IFAs questioned.

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