“The service launched by the Money Advice Service helps people to make sense of the personal finance basics, explaining the ground rules of finance to consumers. And while it is important to understand the basics, it only forms part of the financial planning journey. Unbiased.co.uk has long recognised the importance of financial advice for all members of society. Individuals are increasingly being asked to take on responsibility for their own financial futures, and many of them simply aren’t equipped to do so alone.
“Independent financial advice has long been synonymous with the term unbiased advice and whilst independent financial advice is, and must remain, the standard against which other forms of advice are judged in today’s tightly regulated world, independent financial advice has a cost attached to it. The information provided by the Money Advice Service has the potential to guide those people who aren’t catered for by existing forms of advice lay down some firm financial foundations for their lives. Many of them might, over time, build on those foundations to become customers of IFAs. However, the Money Advice Service can only take the consumer part of the way, and must stop short of where the consumer enters the tightly regulated space of actually needing financial advice. At this point, only financial advisers are able to take the consumer further towards their financial planning goals, advising them on their mortgage, investment, retirement and protection needs.
“And it is that switchover from unregulated to regulated space that is important to get right and we are looking to the Money Advice Service to ensure that there is a clear guidance from them on where the consumer goes next to get the right financial advice for their needs. And it is IFAs that offer the gold standard of advice – the only advice form able to access products from across the whole market place. We would urge the Money Advice Service to make sure the consumer fully understands their options when it comes to financial advice and to refer them to an independent financial adviser wherever suitable.
“Unbiased.co.uk has a long standing record of putting consumers in touch with a local independent financial adviser and in the last year alone, we fulfilled over 450,000 consumer requests for IFAs. Our 15,000 IFAs are well placed to deal with any referrals the Money Advice Service will pass through our ‘find an IFA’ service and in common with unbiased.co.uk’s 60 other referral partners, we are looking forward to working with the Money Advice Service to take consumers along the entire financial planning journey.”
Anna Schirmer/ Emily Falla, Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682
For expert commentary or case studies from over 150 media-friendly IFAs, journalists should visit www.unbiased.co.uk/bluebook.
About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website
The unbiased.co.uk portal is a free and confidential UK-wide search matching consumers with local professional advisers: ‘find an IFA’, ‘find a mortgage adviser’, and ‘find a solicitor’, and is currently inviting registrations for its ‘find an accountant’ service. These searches enable consumers to find professional advisers by postcode, area of specialism, qualification and payment method. In 2010, unbiased.co.uk fulfilled around 450,000 searches for local, professional advice.
Unbiased Ltd (owned by IFA Promotion Ltd) promotes the benefits of independent financial advice to consumers. Unbiased Ltd is sponsored by the following companies:
Registered Office: unbiased.co.uk is the consumer brand of Unbiased Ltd, 117 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3BX. Registered in England: No. 06775878