The National Association of Independent Financial Advisers (NAIFA) was terminated in February, according to an article in the Financial Mail. According to its website, “NAIFA was established in South Africa late in 2010 in consequence of a real threat of a substantial reduction in the ranks of IFAs. This threat came about as a result of a combination of ever increasing regulatory pressure without apparent purpose and a history where the image of IFA had been maligned by members of the press and others. The founders of NAIFA believe that the threat to the IFA, whilst real, is without justifiable foundation and will ultimately lead to a situation where consumers will be prejudiced by not having access to independent advisors. NAIFA aims to rectify this situation.”
“There was no point in continuing NAIFA,” says Chris van der Walt, who initiated this body. “There is too much apathy in an industry that was once alive and kicking.” He is also of the view that the cost of compliance is driving independent advisors to become bank brokers or tied agents.
While this may be true of a small sector of the industry, it may just be that the majority saw little point in protesting, and accepted the need for change. This view is endorsed by the fact that over 90% of the industry wrote the regulatory exams by the final deadline.