Sifa has said it will allow membership to ‘restricted whole of market’ advisers following the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) changes to its independence criteria under the retail distribution review.
The FSA has moved from a definition based on the lack of a ties to a third party to one focused on the scope of services offered by a firm.
Sifa, headed by chairman Ian Muirhead (pictured) has previously only allowed membership to independent advisers under the FSA’s previous definition. But it said that basing membership criteria on the new FSA definition would have excluded some firms ‘which are independent in the dictionary sense of the word of being free from the influence of third parties’.
‘Freedom from third party influence is the essence of independence as understood in the legal profession (and indeed everywhere outside the financial services industry) and this will continue to be the basis for determining eligibility for Sifa membership and for inclusion in Sifa’s Law Society endorsed Directory of Professional Financial Advisers,’ it said.
‘This means that Sifa will be welcoming membership applications from "restricted whole of market" advisers.’