Consumers are “puzzled and cynical” about the prospect of multi-ties if
polarisation is scrapped.
A qualitative survey from H2B Thinking Research age-ncy questioned people
around the UK on their attitude to the relaxation of the regime, including
direct salesforces selling additional products and IFAs becoming multi-tied.
It revealed no one thought they would get a better deal from direct
salesforces selling other companies' products and an IFA becoming
multi-tied would have no benefits for the consumer.
Consumers believe a direct salesperson selling other companies' products
would be tied to one firm more than others. They fear the commission of the
main company would dominate, with the salesperson only selecting other
brands to make the host product look better.
One respondent said: “What is the point of having someone who can only
sell a small number of products compared to an independent?”
But people did look positively on the idea of banks offering more choice
as they have confidence in a big brand.
Respondents thought an IFA becoming multi-tied would create “just an
inferior IFA”, saying this would reduce the benefit for consumers as the
adviser would have access to less of the market.
H2B partner Sue Hayward says: “We are confident that the results give an
accurate picture of reactions to current possible proposals.”
IFA Baronworth Invest-ment Services director Colin Jackson says:
“Consumers would be befuddled by multi-ties as some still have problems
understanding the differences between IFAs and tied agents although the
labels should make it clear.”