Towry Law is tearing up its Aifa membership, saying it is fundamentally opposed to the organisation’s views on the future of the industry and can no longer support it.
In a scathing attack, chief executive Andrew Fisher brands Aifa as backward-looking and says the acronym should stand for “Amalgamation of Ignorant Flat-Earth Advocates”.
He attacks Aifa’s defence of commission and accuses the organisation of not encouraging or being committed to advisers gaining further qualifications.
Fisher says he believes Aifa members hope to earn more for doing less, with minimal qualifications or regulatory capital, and accuses them of “being committed to ignoring the obvious and maintaining the status quo”.
Towry Law has been an Aifa member since its formation in 1999, paying up to £20,000 in annual membership fees.
Fisher says: “It has now got to the point where we can no longer be members of Aifa and are going to resign from it. Everything I read from them is flying in the face of the RDR, asking why IFA firms should have to have sufficient capital to operate and asking if we really know that commission influences sales.”
Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “I am always deeply saddened when any organisation leaves the only trade body that is representing the IFA community.”
Norwest Consultants principal Harry Katz says he believes Aifa has the support of the smaller adviser firms.
He says: “Aifa does an excellent job, I am a huge fan. They work hard trying to keep the legion of the independent financial adviser alive while facing a great uphill struggle. They seem to really get the small IFA, which does not sit well with big firms, especially those like Towry Law.”