Panacea questions whether Aifa failing in its duty
The head of IFA online resource and community Panacea has questioned whether the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (Aifa) is failing in its duty to members.
Derek Bradley questioned whether Aifa's opposition to grandfathering has meant it is failing in its duty to protect the livelihoods and represent the interests of at least the older majority of their IFA members.
Mr Bradley cited Aifa's draft response to the Treasury Select Committee which states: "The Financial Services Authority's definition of grandfathering is to deem someone of a lower qualification level to be at a higher level without any demonstration of competence.
"On that basis it would mean that thousands of bank advisers (young and old to avoid discrimination) would at the stroke of a pen be brought up to the level that most Aifa members have already achieved through a great deal of hard work.
"We therefore cannot support grandfathering as we believe it is against the interests of the IFA community to do so".
Mr Bradley, writing on the Panacea website, claimed it was unlikely most Aifa members had achieved the necessary standard.
He said: "The grandfathering issue above so many other issues is a sign that they do not understand the wave of emotion, sentiment and reason that weighs heavy on the minds of the older IFA in the unfairness of not supporting this argument.
"Is the Aifa intent on preventing bank advisers being discriminated against or are they failing in their duty to protect the livelihoods and represent the interests of at least the older majority of their IFA members?"
Mr Bradley warned the move by Garry Heath to join Alan Lakey at Adviser Alliance "could have a similare effect to that of an Exocet fatally hitting the Aifa."
He said: "With the arrival of Steve Gay at the Aifa, IFAs will hope that they will engage in a meaningful strategic review that involves consultation with it’s root and branch membership and resist the urge to embark on some pseudo esoteric research exercise to ensure the questions asked get the answers they want."
Aifa did not wish to comment but provided a revised version of the response to the Treasury Select Committee which maintains Aifa's opposition to grandfathering but states: "The solution isn’t to lower the bar, or remove it, or to usher advisers around it by an administrative device – it is to do everything we can to help advisers to reach the bar."