Are IFAs reluctant to recommend IFIsas to their clients?

The number of people investing into Innovative Finance Isas (IFIsas) has grown by 620% since 2016/17, according to investment and technology specialist Goji.

Figures from HMRC regarding Isa take-up for 2017/18 revealed that £69bn was put into Isas in the period, with almost £300m invested into IFIsas by around 31,000 investors.

Despite these figures, IFAs appear reluctant to recommend IFIsas to their clients.

Speaking at Goji’s ‘Platform Showcase: Reaching a New Audience with Alternative Investments’ event, Julia Groves, head of crowdfunding at Downing LLP, highlighted that more IFAs invest in Downing bonds than any other category of investor.

“…We’ve sold them the product, but will they recommend it to anybody else?

“They’re happy enough with the risk and rate of returns to put their own money in,” she said, while adding that there was a barrier to advising on it.

Julian Cork, COO at Landbay, stated: “I think one of the things [which] is challenging for IFAs is how do you prove you have done enough due diligence on a platform? How do you actually get the knowledge that this is a decent platform?

“One of the things that I think IFAs could really benefit from is looking at platforms and capabilities that have large amounts of institutional funding on them.

“Because institutional funding, by its very nature, means that they’ve done an awful lot of due diligence on the platforms and that can actually give a good comfort level to IFAs to be able to know which platforms have had that due dillgence done on them and which ones haven’t.

“I think this [is] a big challenge that can be overcome simply by being more transparent in the industry.”

Pictured above: Jake Wombwell-Povey, CEO at Goji.

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