Industry veteran Phil Billingham has criticised restricted firms for peddling independence "myths".
Billingham, operations director at Perceptive Planning and Institute of Financial Planning board member, said in contrast to surveys predicting the death of IFA firms, remaining independent had proven "a very easy place to be."
"The first myth is that to be independent you have to charge full fee via adviser charging or an hourly rate," he said during a webinar co-hosted by the IFA Centre's Gill Cardy.
In fact, he argued, a Fidelity survey that found the majority of consumers did not want to pay a direct fee showed it was still "a minority position".
He also dismissed fears from IFAs that they had to consider every single product in the market, including esoteric or exotic investments, as "nonsense".
"It's been predicted that [independent advice] is going to be killed off every year," he said. "But it is a view of the world, not just a regulatory term."
In fact the independent sector had been one of the key factors in driving down costs for advisers, compared to countries without traditional IFAs, Billingham argued.
Professional indemnity insurance was "much more expensive in Australia", with life cover around two and a half times cheaper than in the UK compared to Germany and France.
It was also "astonishing the number of countries who take for granted the upfront fees on funds," he said. "We don't have that because of the independent sector."
Industry Voice: Scottish Widows pension expert Robert Cochran and economist Andrew Scott discuss the future of employment and income, in episode three of Scottish Widows' podcast series.
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