The move comes less than two months before the Financial Services Authority obtains its full powers to regulate firms conducting investment business.
Chartered Accountants’ Independent Financial Services, as it will be known, is a joint venture with Bankhall Investment Associates who have 14 years regulatory experience and an annual turnover of Pounds 360m.
The service will offer training in compliance, product research and specialist back-office software, among other services.
According to the Institute, CAIFS will benefit four groups of member firms:
- Firms currently selling investment business products and who will be directly authorised with the FSA;
- Firms wanting to carry on offering investment business advice to clients, but who do not want to be directly authorised by the FSA;
- Firms who wish to include financial service advice as a benefit to clients, but would like someone else to help provide this service;
- Firms who currently refer investment business work to another party, but would welcome the opportunity to refer to an accredited and high quality authorised firm under the CAIFS banner.
John Collier, Secretary General of the Institute, said: ‘Our intention is to provide services specifically designed to meet the needs of Chartered Accountants in practice.
‘Product price will reflect the purchasing power of the Institute, which will pass the benefits of economies of scale directly on to members. Membership of CAIFS will be available at significantly lower cost than other investment business networks.’
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