Managing director Richard Hobbs says a split between advice and sales is achievable but would require the triaging of different levels of advice.
He says: “During a fact-find, you might discover that an individual needs a different form of advice. If you do not have triaging, there is a huge incentive to sell the consumer what you can rather than refer them to a more appropriate service.
“If all services come under one roof, the owner will not mind what the consumer needs because they will be able to offer it and will still make money.”
Hobbs believes that in some cases, the service received from an adviser is comparable with a tied or multi-tied adviser.
He says: “There is no difference between a top tied adviser at St James’s Place and an IFA because it is the asset class and asset manager that makes the performance difference. The wrapper is of no importance.”
He warns that the retail distribution review interim report has created a constituency determined to fight back against proposals to exclude tied and multi-tied advisers from the advice sector.
Hobbs says: “Banks have far more resources than the IFA community and I expect they will fight back hard.”