The Conservatives say their decision to allow multi-ties will not weaken polarisation but simply recognise that some IFAs are already operating on a multi-tied basis.
Conservative Shadow economic secretary Howard Flight, in a letter to Money Marketing, says the Tories are not setting up a new class of adviser.
Overall, they believe the regulatory burden should be eased but they are advocating tighter scrutiny and more policing of the divide between genuine IFAs and what they describe as tied or multitied advisers.
Flight argues the plans will help independent advisers.
The letter says: “It has been possible to operate in effect as a multi-tied agent within the IFA ground rules.”
But some IFAs argue that it is providers which are breaking the current polarisation rules, not advisers, as part of moves to marginalise IFAs.
Kohn Cougar principal Roddy Kohn says: “It is cheap rhetoric to blame IFAs. The IFA ground rules are as vague as the multi-tie rules. If the politicians and regulators had the interests of the public at heart, they would want to distinguish advice. The only way to do this is by strengthening polarisation rules.”