The IFA population is split over whether Aifa is the correct body to represent IFAs, multi-ties and mortgage brokers, the Money Marketing and One Account IFA Poll 2004 has revealed.
The annual poll indicates that 50 per cent are against Aifa representing different types of advisers while 47 per cent support it.
Of those who do not believe their interests would be best represented by an all-embracing trade body, 86 per cent believe their own body, not one speaking for multi-ties and mortgage brokers as well, is needed.
IFAs say Aifa has done a reasonable job but there is a watershed difference between those who plan to remain totally independent and other types of advisers.
Aifa has a subsidiary, the AMI, to represent mortgage brokers and has amended its articles to allow multi-ties to join after depolarisation.
Brunning Newman Houghton director David Brunning says: “We need representation from a body who recognises us. We need an advocate. Aifa cannot advocate IFA status as well as those who are multi-tying. We need a distinctly separate type of body.”
But Atkinson Smith financial development manager Will Palmer says: “Aifa has been good in terms of being vocal on commission, disclosure and the menu system. They champion our causes and keep us informed.”
Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “Nobody should underestimate the costs and efforts to run a body. A coherent united voice is much more effective than smaller schools. I sympathise with those IFAs who want a separate body but the question is about effectiveness.”