Why choose an Independent Financial Adviser?
A key point to bear in mind when you are considering where to go to get financial advice is that Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) have no contractual ties to the product providers (such as life insurance companies) whose products they advise on.
In contrast, some other types of advisers, such as ‘tied agents’ who operate in high street banks, building societies and life insurance companies, have contractual obligations to one or more product providers, meaning the advice they give is limited to the range of products and services of their associated providers. These advisers are classed as “Restricted”.
Unlike Restricted tied agents, IFAs act as the agent of their clients and their independence enables them to research products from across the whole market.
Once they have delivered their advice, IFAs must follow up in writing, setting out the reasons why they are giving you that advice.
All financial advisers receive payment for the advice they are giving and their charges must be clearly set out and explained to you before you receive any advice. This payment may be collected via product charges (adviser fees), which is included in the premiums of the product you have bought, or take the form of an invoiced fee paid directly by you. If you chose the invoiced fee option, the IFA may be able to rebate some or all of the adviser fees they receive.
IFAs are the only advisers who must (under the regulator’s rules) provide you with the option to pay for your advice entirely by invoiced fee, rather than taking adviser fees which the product provider will pay. As such, they offer more flexibility when it comes to deciding how you want to pay for the advice you receive.
Should you have cause to complain, and you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may be able to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which can be contacted as follows:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR
Tel: 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9 123