Independent Financial Advice – Consumer Guide

Tips for avoiding pitfalls

  • When looking for advice on one category of product, be aware that an adviser may not be able to offer independent advice on every sector. An organisation can offer different types of advice, such as ‘whole of market’ advice on mortgages, but may only offer tied advice on investment products.

  • Always visit the IFA’s premises, so that you can get a good feel for how professional an organisation it is.

  • If you go back to an IFA you have used before, double check that it has not changed its status under the new system. Some IFA groups may have given up their independent status and switched to multi-tied arrangements. They should spell this out to you, but it is better to be sure by asking.

  • Also check that your IFA is authorised. IFA Promotion carries details of around 10,000 IFAs on its database, all of whom are continually verified.
    If you need to find out additional information about an IFA’s authorisation, you can look at the FSA Central Register at www.fsa.gov.uk/register or phone 0845 606 1234.

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