The chartered insurance institute (CII) has called off a proposed merger with Australia and New Zealand professional body ANZIIF citing financial "discrepancies" in its antipodean equivalent's accounts.
It says 2008 will likely be the second year ANZIIF has lost money and "now feels any merger would be detrimental to members' long-term interests".
However, the 120-year-old ANZIIF, which provides professional development services to insurance and financial services firms across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific, says it is the CII's fault the deal has fallen through.
The merged body, which would have been called the Chartered Institute of Financial Services (CIFS), would have boasted more than 105,000 members across 170 countries.
"It has become apparent that ANZIIF's revenues are falling dramatically and it is potentially heading for a loss this year," the CII says.
"The Group is deeply disappointed the ANZIIF management only disclosed this information this week."
But Robert Reid, a former president of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) says the merger may only be "on hold".
"It is clear we have quite a different set of financial numbers from their end than we had before and that is the basic reason for putting this thing on hold," he says.
"I would say the CII is exhibiting a level of prudence that perhaps hasn't been in other parts of the market recently."
"I'm aware they [ANZIIF] have put out a comment saying they think it was because the British were hostile to the merger. I would say that's probably stretching it a bit."
Earlier this year, both organisations said the merged entity would create an international membership body "promoting a clear set of standards" and raise the profile of industry qualifications with consumers and regulators.
Contact: Scott Sinclair, News Editor, 020 7484 9791 - [email protected]IFAonline
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