Advisers are wavering about renewing membership of the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) after receiving a bill but little communication on how the body plans to represent them.
Affluent Financial Planning director Carl Melvin received an annual membership fee request of £241 from the trade body on 1 September but questioned whether it was worth the money.
He said he had received no further communication from PIMFA that "grabbed his attention", adding: "It's a little disappointing that my first communication seems to be asking for fees.
"My take on it is - that's fine, but maybe you should explain what value I get, what you're going to do and how you're different. Why should I subscribe to you ahead of others?"
Melvin said before receiving the bill he would have liked to have the benefits he receives as a member explained, what the body is looking to achieve, what strategy it plans to pursue and a timeframe in which it believes it will achieve this.
He said he was yet to decide whether to pay the membership fee, adding: "If they can persuade me it's valuable, then I'll pay the fee - if they don't, I won't. They need to secure my support rather than me looking for reasons to support them."
On 1 June, the merger between the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA) completed, creating the new body PIMFA.
At the time, some advisers expressed concern the wealthier investment arm of the body would dilute the adviser voice, resulting in poorer representation for the adviser community.
Gibson Lamb owner Dave Lamb also received an annual membership invoice as his first communication from PIMFA after its merger with the WMA.
Since his buiness partner retired earlier this year, Lamb said he had been taking a fresh look at the firm, continuing: "The bill turned up and I thought to myself - ‘I can't remember the last time I got anything useful from them at all.
"I avoid distribution lists so it's possible they've sent some stuff out that never made it to me, but we have't had anything meaningful from them in a long time."
Prior to receiving the invoice, said Lamb, he would have liked some communication on PIMFA's plans - particularly since the merger and new branding.
Although he was yet to pay the bill, Lamb said he was 99% sure he would if the body was paying close attention to the continuing rises in the FSCS levy and the continuing lack of a longstop on decades-old advice.
"If PIMFA is fighting those two arguments behind the scenes effectively, I'm happy to support them, but I don't know what they're doing about it because they don't tell me," he added.
A spokesperson for PIMFA confirmed the membership fee was the same as prior to the merger.
While it was still "early days", they added, the body has 12 MIFID working parties, as well as those working on various other topics such as pensions and taxation. It has also hosted "at least" two conferences and three forums since its inception.
PIMFA said it has communicated with members by newsletter and also has a section on its website where members can see the benefits of membership of the body.
The spokesperson said the body was in the process of setting up a roadshow, travelling around the country to ask members what they would like to see from PIMFA, and it had a "country-wide trip" planned for next month. They said PIMFA would encourage advisers to get in touch if they would like to get involved or had any questions.
Our weekly heads-up for advisers
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared 11 adviser firms in default between 1 August and 31 October.