A group of seven leading independent financial advisors have joined forces ahead of a shake-up of the industry next year.

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The East Anglian Independent Voice (EAIV) was founded by Carl Lamb, managing director of Norwich-based Almary Green Investments Ltd.

Joining him is David Hughff of Smith & Pinching, Lyn Turner of NW Brown & Co, Bernie Whitbourn of ARW Wealth Managers, Simon Kiley of RJL, Steve Jones of Jones Financial Planning, and Paul Roberts of Moss & Roberts.

The move comes ahead of the Financial Services Authority’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) on January 1, which introduces new professional qualification standards and transparent charging structures for the provision of financial advice, with advisors who have failed to reach the new professional standard ceasing to be authorised by the FSA.

Mr Lamb, said: “As a group, we believe that RDR is a good thing and that the public will ultimately benefit from a leaner, cleaner industry as a result. However, it was clear that the public was simply unaware of what was happening and how they will be affected. By pooling resources, we can help to get the message across to educate the public so they can ask the right questions of their advisers both now and in the New Year”.

The EIAV group is also using its collective voice to lobby both industry providers – the insurance companies and fund managers, and the FSA, to raise the profile of some of the issues that RDR has generated.

One unforeseen result of the new regime has been the action of many of the product providers who have taken the opportunity offered by the changes to rewrite their terms of business.

Mr Lamb added: “IFAs are having to deal with the arrival on a daily basis of new terms of business on various different products. These documents are often scores of pages long and all are different so they have to be assessed. It’s an administrative nightmare. There’s no consistency between providers and each company appears to be interpreting the rules in a different way.”

He said while it may take many months to resolve issues of this nature, the EAIV group hopes that its combined strength will add weight to the pressure being put on the industry regulators to iron out the problems.

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