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Survey reveals that IFAs fear disruption from complexity

More than half of IFAs believe the menu will cause significant disruption to their business, according to the most recent Money Marketing online survey.

The survey of 341 IFAs, immediately after the release of the FSA&#39s menu plans last week, has given weight to industry claims that the menu is overly complex and will be difficult to implement. Fifty-seven per cent say it will disrupt their business.

The survey has also cast doubt over the effectiveness of the new framework for depolarisation, which is designed to make financial services more transparent and to encourage consumers to scour the marketplace.

Sixty-four per cent of IFAs believe that the menu will not motivate consumers to shop around for financial advice, which is one of the prime objectives for the document. IFAs are split on whether fee-based advisers should compare their fees against the market average, with 51 per cent for and 49 per cent against this plan.

The Jelf Group business development director Brian Lawless believes that implementation of the menu will cause ongoing problems for advisers. He says the addition of non-mass market products and frequent changes of published market average commissions will cause perpetual debate and confusion. He says: “The whole thing is needlessly complicated and will leave consumers none the wiser.”

FSA spokeswoman Louise Buckley says: “The menu&#39s main objective is to make it clear up front to consumers what the cost of advice is and to facilitate shopping around and negotiation by consumers. It should also help to reduce the potential for commission bias.”

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