Aifa refuses to reveal membership numbers

Chris Hannant 480

Aifa has refused to disclose the level of income brought in by annual subscriptions over the last year, saying only that it has seen a “small decline” in membership subscriptions.

The trade body published its annual accounts for the year to 30 June this morning, which showed a pre-tax loss of £153,665, compared to a £194,419 loss the previous year.

Turnover, made up of member subscriptions and event income, fell 15 per cent over the year from £1.6m in 2010/11 to £1.4m in 2011/12.

Last year, Aifa separated out the amount brought in by annual subscriptions, which fell 14 per cent from £1.4m in 2009/10 to £1.2m.

But following a change of auditors during the year, this information has been excluded from the 2011/12 accounts. The latest accounts show sales turnover of Aifa Services, which covers events and project work, fell 37 per cent over the year from £416,138 in 2010/11 to £263,006 in 2011/12.

Aifa policy director Chris Hannant says factors impacting Aifa’s income include the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries decision to split from in February, and market consolidation.

He says: “There has been a decline in income from other services and events. There has also been a small decline in membership subscriptions, partly due to a couple of associates leaving, and a degree of consolidation. One of the principal reasons for people ceasing membership is they are becoming part of larger entities which may already be a member.”

Aifa was also considering introducing higher fees for networks this time last year to bring contributions more into line with fees paid by directly authorised firms.

Hannant declined to comment on whether raising network fees was still an option.

He says: “The fee structure is something the council will continue to review. It needs to constantly consider whether we have the most appropriate structure.”

Aifa’s results have been published ahead of its annual general meeting on 13 November. At the meeting members will vote on Aifa’s proposed rebrand to the Association of Professional Financial Advisers following the decision to open up membership to restricted advisers in July 2011.

Members will also vote on new council members, including Adviser Alliance director Alan Lakey who is standing for election.