AIFA unveils survey on the impact of depolarisation

The Association of Independent Financial Advisers announced today that a survey of its members on the initial impact of depolarisation found that the vast majority of business carried out across investments, pensions and mortgages is being transacted on an independent basis.

The AIFA / NMG IFA Census survey asked members what type of advice they offered in investments, protection and mortgages.

It identified that 69% of mortgage business is being transacted on an independent basis.

It also revealed that only 1%-2% of transactions in investments, protection and mortgages are being conducted on a multi-tied basis.

Members were also asked questions about the effectiveness of the menu.

When asked how many clients firms thought were engaging with the menu, 71% of respondents believed that only between 0-25% of clients were making use of the menu.

12% of respondents stated that there had been an increase in the number of clients choosing the fee option since the introduction of the menu last year.

13% said the inclusion of the market average had prompted discussion or negotiation following inclusion of the market average.

Less than 15% of respondents said that clients had mentioned other firms menus or quoted other firms commission rates or fees.

Chris Cummings, director general of AIFA, says: “I am delighted that the overwhelming majority of business undertaken in the areas of investment, protection and mortgages continues to be transacted on an independent and whole of market basis.

“This is good news for consumers – in a depolarised world, our members are continuing to put their clients interests first.

“The reaction to the introduction of the menu has been mixed. The menu requires a cultural shift for both firms and their clients, and the information exists to provide consumers with an informed choice.

“The results of this survey indicate that a number of consumers – albeit a small number – are beginning to take this on board. It seems fair to say that others are finding the information too complex.

“The menu is a long way adrift from the simple document AIFA originally proposed. These are still early days and it will be interesting to survey our members again on this issue a year from now.”