I have had in excess of twenty years experience working with independent financial advisers. During that time, both on an individual level and with clients of the practice, I have witnessed the good, bad and downright ugly.
From our firm’s perspective, we refer our clients to IFA’s. The client should expect informative, appropriate and transparent advice and of equal importance, for the advice to be ongoing.
As a practice, we derive huge added value from working alongside advisers in supporting our clients and keeping ourselves abreast of the developments and change within the financial sector and their impact for both advisers and our clients.
We need to have confidence the IFA is, at the very least, meeting the expectations of our clients, otherwise anything less reflects poorly on ourselves, ultimately to our detriment.
Regrettably, this is all too frequently the case, some advisers (and in no means in isolation, with reference to other professions), prove to be fly by night -merchants with front loaded commissions and little ongoing advice thereafter – manipulating client relationships for short term gain, conducting client financial affairs with reckless abandon.
So it’s not before time, that the regulatory authorities have introduced changes.
Challenging times these have been for the adviser community and I expect more to come. The good IFA’s have and are adapting to change, with a new mind set for both the client and adviser in working within a fee structure – commensurate with quality, expertise and time taken.
This new fee structure, providing it is genuinely charged (as opposed to commission in the guise of a fee), coupled with a progression towards a Chartered status as a minimum requirement, will ensure we have a professional financial service sector moving forward.