Who is the fairest of them all?
An independent survey from the Financial Services Research Forum at Nottingham University Business School has found that independent financial advisers (IFAs) are rated by consumers as the “most fair” of the financial services professions.
The ‘Fairness Index’ looked at consumer perceptions of fairness with regards to financial services. It took into consideration a wide range of measures including impartiality, familiarity, courtesy and communication.
Compared to other parts of the financial services sector, IFAs had the highest ratings on overall fairness. IFAs had an index score of 84 out of 100, significantly higher than the industry average of 72.
Building societies and investment companies also scored above average, with index scores of 75 and 73 respectively. It was little surprise to see banks scoring 68 and credit card companies with the lowest rating at 63.
We have no doubt that using the services of an IFA is the only way to ensure you will receive completely fair treatment when seeking financial advice. The ‘advice’ offered by banks and multi-tied advisers will always be influenced by their commercial relationship with product providers.
Better still, working with an IFA who is part of a firm of Chartered Financial Planners will mean they have satisfied rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and ethical good practice. Paying a fee for advice will ensure impartiality because your adviser will have no financial incentive to recommend a commission paying financial product solution.