Towry Law CEO Andrew Fisher has launched a stinging attack on AIFA saying the body is "totally wrong" on its RDR stance.
His firm has now quit the trade body, saying it can no longer support and be aligned with an association it “fundamentally disagrees with”.
Fisher cites the association’s position on commission and professional qualifications as the main irreconcilable differences.
“AIFA are seeking proof on whether commissions cause a sales bias,” Fisher says. “But that is like asking whether we need gravity to walk.”
AIFA's bias toward “one-man-band” IFA firms is also holding back vital revitalisation of the financial advice industry, Fisher warns. He says the trade body is missing the opportunity to lead a transformation of the IFA sector into a fully professional industry.
“The sheer volume of small independent IFAs don’t want any broad changes, which leaves AIFA in an impossible situation,” Fisher says.
“We agree with the RDR and what it is trying to do for the industry, so how can we stay in a group we fundamentally disagree with on the RDR and what they stand for.”
AIFA director general Chris Cummings says the trade body is concerned some RDR proposals could force “many good general advisers” out of the market and have a detrimental effect on consumers.
“With regard to some of the specific proposals in the RDR, AIFA has not yet made any firm policy decisions,” he says.
“These will be informed following intensive research on the views of our members.”
Have your say:
"I might actually join AIFA now bearing in mind their name may actually fit i.e. Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) not Association of Independent Advisory Firms gradually being bought up by providers (AIAFAF)."
- Phil Castle, Financial Escape Ltd, Independent Financial Advisers
"I find the stance taken by Towry Law and its CEO Andrew Fisher mind boggling. It is my firm view that Andrew’s attack on AIFA is both self serving and unhelpful in the general debate over the direction we need to take our sector in order to raise professional standards and better serve consumers’ interest.
I reiterate one of my fundamental beliefs here 'if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand'. If Andrew believes so much in helping to raise industry standards, I would have expected him to drive his argument through AIFA."
- Andy Adewale, director, Mint Financial Services
"Good riddance. The AIFA are there to represent ALL Independent Financial Advisers - not just the ones with the biggest mouths.
Towry Law and their CEO Andrew Fisher keep on banging their drum for commission to be outlawed, yet the RDR "consultation" has been produced to allow the industry to discuss how we (ALL advisers and advisory firms) can serve all clients what ever their circumstances and Treat ALL Clients fairly. Have a look at Towry Law's website and see they are only interested in looking after the 'wealthy' (minimum £100k invested) and therefore let the rest be looked after by Primary Advice.
Be in no doubt Towry Law's selfish wish for commission to go would serve their business model perfectly BUT it would not Treat ALL Customers Fairly.
Get rid of all the IDD market averages rubbish and let us be truly transparent about OUR fees/commissions with our clients so we can easily give them the choice between fees and commission or a combination of the two."
- Anthony Fallon, Fallon Associates Limited
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