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By Aimee Steen | Published Jul 17, 2012

Honister IFA raises independence concern

Choosing a network that will remain committed to independent advisers is critical, a Honister adviser has said.

James Espin, IFA at John White Associates – a trading name of Honister – said being unable to find a network that can guarantee an independent future may lead him to instead become directly authorised.

“The problem for me is getting any reassurance that [a network] will stay independent,” he said.

“Reading between the lines, I wonder which networks are going to go restricted. The risk is huge; a network that is independent now could 12 months down the line be saying they’re going restricted.”

Espin highlighted Intrinsic as one network that has voiced its support of the restricted model, adding that although networks may now claim commitment to supporting the independent status, that may change come the RDR.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that supposed commitment goes down the pan in the next year,” he said.

Espin, whose firm was affected when Honister went into administration, said he did not want to join a network only to find that it began supporting restricted rather than independent advisers.

“The leanings at the moment are towards going direct and not risking going with another network,” he said, adding that he remains concerned at the chance of something similar to Honister happening to another network.

“As much as you can look into the accounts and profitability and everything else, you just don’t know what’s around the corner,” Espin said.

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