The IFA Association is to join forces with the Institute of Financial Planning this week in moves which could create a professional body.
Money Marketing has learned the two organisations are set to form a partnership. Senior sources close to the IFAA say the association has been in talks with the IFP for several months.
Discussions have included proposals to create a body along the lines of the solicitors' governing body, the Law Society.
The move is likely to see IFA firms joining the IFA Association while registered individuals would join the IFP. It will also involve some form of qualifications.
The link-up will be announced on Thursday in what the IFAA is calling “a major initiative to raise standards”.
The possibility of talks between the two organisations was first mooted in December as IFAA chairman Bernard Jones sought to move the IFA community towards professionalism.
The move follows the failure of ProfCo, which was Jones' brainchild to bring the LIA, Sofa and the Chartered Insurance Institute together to create one professional body for all financial advisers. Talks collapsed in December.
The latest move will put the creation of an IFA professional body, which is known to be a personal crusade for Jones, at the heart of the IFAA's plans.
But news of the proposals has drawn a mixed reaction from around the industry.
Sofa chairman Robert Reid says: “I think at the moment it is much more relevant to be getting together a single set of designations than forming a new body.”
MMB chief executive Gareth Marr says: “I would be a little disturbed if they were setting out their stall to compete with Sofa. If they could work out a close relationship with Sofa that would be a dream ticket.
“What the IFA needs is a body like the Institute of Chartered Accountants which combines trade body and professional body and does everything.”
An IFAA spokesman refused to comment on the details until the official launch on Thursday. IFP chairman Julie Lord would not comment on the initiative.