The Association of Independent Financial Advisers (Aifa) is retaining its IFA focus and creating a new division for "whole of market" advisers, according to its "Scope of Membership" consultation released today.
Aifa’s council has decided the trade association should retain its name and remain exclusively for IFAs but there should be a separate branch for “whole of market” advisers called the Association of Financial Advisers (Afa).
Aifa says there was a very strong feeling among IFA firms Aifa should remain primarily focused on representing and promoting independent advice, but 80% of firms were in favour of allowing “whole of market” advisers to remain members.
Chris Cummings, Aifa’s director general, says: “Our members have spoken and have given us three clear messages.
“First, there must be a body for those who offer exclusively independent advice under the new regulatory definition.
“Second, we must continue to provide a home for those who survey the whole market for their clients but have chosen not to meet the FSA’s new depolarisation fee charging requirements.
“And third, those firms who are exclusively tied or multi-tied are not obvious members of our association.”
Cummings says the creation of Afa allows Aifa to retain its strong brand name while keeping in membership for those who offer “whole of market” advice.
“Our members have decided that their association should reflect and embrace those changes as long as we continue to represent only those advisers who put their clients first.”
Cummings believes the move will ensure Aifa remains a strong and focused body able to represent the needs of the advice profession.
The new structure will be formalised in preparation for Aifa’s annual general meeting on 29th November. The status of Aifa’s members firms will be confirmed at the time of their individual renewal dates.
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From 6 April 2019