The UK has the highest proportion of fee-based advisers in Europe, according to Eur-ope-wide IFA lobby group the Convention of Independent Financial Advisers.
Cifa told a PIMS conference that 7 per cent of advisers in the UK are fee-based compared with 2-5 per cent in France, Benelux and Germany.
IFAs say these figures are ironic, given the pressure that has been put on them by the regulator to move away from commission to fees, pointing to the fact that the rest of Europe is more dependent in commission than the UK.
One of the key issues Cifa is looking at is the development of fee-based sales across the EU. It says the fact that different countries have different streams of intermediary business – for example, 57 per cent of business in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxem-burg is insurance compared with 41 per cent in Italy – means it is important that EU legislation is modified to reflect these differences.
Cifa has 28 trade associations on board from across Europe, including Apcims. Aifa is not yet a member and Cifa says it is keen to work with the trade body.
Founding member Jean-Pierre Diserens says: “The idea is to unite and get experience in legislation from each country so we can modify the directives from Brussels to reflect what is done nationally. If Aifa wants to join us, then they are welcome but we cannot force people to join us.”