Unbiased.co.uk and Standard Life have today launched their “Choosing the Right Adviser Checklist”; a consumer financial advice checklist to help people ask the right questions when searching for a professional financial adviser.
Part of the unbiased.co.uk/Standard Life Value of Advice campaign, the checklist acts as a simple step by step guide, encouraging consumers to ask questions and to compare the services and costs of different advisers, before making a decision on which adviser to use. A snapshot of the key areas covered:
1. What am I going to pay?
How do they charge (make sure you ask about fixed fee, hourly rate, retainer rate and project fee options so you can compare which one will work best for you)?
2. What service will I receive?
What are the specific services I will receive (e.g. assessment of your financial situation, product recommendation, does the adviser search for best product from the whole of market, transactions, general updates on changes affecting your financial position, annual review)?
3. Who is giving the advice?
Are they specialists, what is their experience (do they hold a Statement of Professional Standing certificate – proof they have met and are keeping to professional standards, do they hold specialist qualifications that relate to the advice you are receiving)?
4. What is the review process?
What is the firm’s process for reviews, how frequent are they and how is this paid for?
With the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) just around the corner, unbiased.co.uk and Standard Life are urging consumers to take time to fully understand the different propositions that will be offered by advisers, in order to make the right choices according to their individual situation and get the best advice for their financial future.
Under each of the four points (level of payment, services provided, advice and review process) is a list of questions for consumers to consult when contacting an adviser. Consumers will be able to print off a checklist for each adviser they are contacting, ticking off questions as they go through them and making notes on the checklist along the way, providing them with a comparable summary note for each adviser. The “Choosing the Right Adviser Checklist” is available to download and print off.
Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments, “It is our priority to ensure that consumers ask the right questions and get the best advice when looking for a professional adviser. Shopping around for the right adviser has always been key but with RDR shining a new light on fees and charges, it will become increasingly important going forward. We want consumers to be able to make informed decisions, which is why we have designed our “Choosing the Right Adviser Checklist”, to help them shop around and choose the right adviser for their financial advice needs and, ultimately, come away having made the best decisions for their individual situation.”
Dave McGovern, Head of Retail Marketing at Standard Life, commented:
"The checklist we've produced is a really important tool to help people remember the practical things they need to ask an adviser. It allows them to capture all the information and easily compare one adviser business with another. Practical factors such as what a person will pay and what service they will receive are obviously important, but they also need to have a rapport with their adviser. Our research has shown it is personal relationships and trust that feature heavily in why people select a financial adviser. Consumers need to consider both practical and emotional factors in their selection process."
The unbiased.co.uk / Standard Life Charter is part of the Value of Advice campaign , which highlights the benefits independent financial advice can have on a consumer’s personal financial situation.
For more information contact:
Anna Schirmer/ Emily Falla/ Maddy Morgan Williams, Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682
For expert commentary or case studies from over 200 media-friendly advisers, journalists should visitwww.unbiased.co.uk/bluebook.
About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website
The unbiased.co.ukportal is a free and confidential UK-wide search matching consumers with local professional advisers. Their searches enable consumers to find professional advisers by postcode, area of specialism, qualification and payment method. In 2011, unbiased.co.ukfulfilled around 450,000 searches for local, professional advice.
Unbiased Ltd promotes the benefits of financial advice to consumers. Unbiased Ltd is supported by the following companies:
Unbiased Ltd - Registered Office: 12-14 Berry St, London, EC1V 0AU. Registered in England: No. 06775878)
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