Independent Financial Advice – Consumer Guide

Menu of charges

Until recently, buying a financial product from an adviser could be a bit like entering a restaurant that doesn’t display its menu in the window and ordering dishes without knowing the prices, whether the choice was a la carte or a fixed price menu, or whether or not the meal included service. You might only become aware of the full cost upon receipt of the bill.

Now customers must receive the menu of the adviser’s charges at the moment they first seek the advice. Other documents will also be provided up front to spell out whether the advice is offered on products from a single provider, from a limited selection of providers or from the whole market.

This will make it easier for the consumer to shop around for a competitive service and to know the cost of advice from the outset, and most importantly, assess the value of advice upfront.

The menu should encourage people to shop around for the financial adviser they feel is offering them the most competitive deal.
All financial advisers must hand you this menu of charges up front for you to look at before going any further. Armed with this information you can ask your IFA to explain the charges he or she will make and choose to buy elsewhere if you think it may be better value. This system will also reveal where independent advice is better value than other types of advice.

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