An advice industry body has said its members are split on the FPA’s proposal to move to self-registration of advisers, as a new poll indicates the move has majority support in the industry.
In an email to members on Saturday, AIOFP chief executive Peter Johnston said the association had initially campaigned against the FPA’s proposal in its adviser awareness program to politicians, based on a “10 member sample” of opinions from its 150 member AFSLs.
An email sent to MPs last week as part of the awareness campaign warned of the dangers of self-registration from a product perspective in particular, with Mr Johnston suggesting the removal of licensees as the ‘middle man’ could leave advisers exposed to unscrupulous manufacturers.
“We favour the AFSL option due to its greater protection for consumers savings around APL control and research capability. Dealer groups have the resources to employ in-house research analysts to create their own APL that protects advisers and consumers from product failure,” he said.
“We don’t like the idea of circa 15,000 advisers being exposed to numerous product manufacturers trying all sorts of strategies to get inflows – this ‘open architecture’ approach, giving advisers full access to select any product they wanted, was the 1980s/90s environment before dealer groups controlled the process and demanded APL discipline.”
However, Mr Johnston conceded some members had expressed strong support for the FPA’s proposal, including one “advice veteran” who said self licensing would be a “simpler structure” to align the interests of advisers and consumers.
The proposal to move to individual registration has garnered broad industry support, with a recent ifa poll of almost 650 readers revealing that 61 per cent were in favour of the move.
Mr Johnston said the issue would be debated further at the AIOFP’s national conference later this year, which would feature a selection of members arguing for and against the idea of adviser self-registration.
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