Many people simply don’t know who to trust when it comes to financial advice. With over 24,000 independent financial advisers in the UK, would a new British Standard give you more confidence to choose?
On the Which? Money Helpline, we often see the outcome of poor financial advice, whether it’s someone calling us to discuss a mis-sold pension, inappropriate investments or other unsuitable financial products.
Sadly, this comes as little surprise to us. Our mystery shops have repeatedly found the quality of financial advice on offer to be incredibly sub-standard; particularly from high street banks and building societies.
Don’t lower your standards
On past conversations, we’ve heard from people who have struggled with unhelpful advisers. Naima told us:
‘I need to reincarnate 10 times to get over the grief of trusting the bank financial advisers.’
While Annie D said:
‘I moved everything over to a private financial advisor, who told me that one investment policy sold to me by the banks was notoriously awful, and they’d never choose it. So why did the bank? Commission.’
To try and make the search for advice more straightforward, Which? and other industry experts have been involved in developing a new British Standard for Financial Planning and Advice Services. Launched in May 2012, this standard sets a framework for the management and delivery of financial advice and financial planning services.
To meet the standard, firms will have to meet nine core principles, which have been designed to improve the management of their business and to protect the interests of their customers.
Choose with confidence
So, if you opt for a firm that has the British Standard, it gives you the assurance that the adviser you’ve chosen meets a high benchmark. As a result, they should provide you with a high-quality, reliable service.
Have you had any bad experiences with unreliable financial advisers? Will you look out for the new British Standard when you choose your next adviser?