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&#39IFAs must improve consumer relations&#39

M&E members have given short shrift to Financial Services Consumer Panel

chairwoman Barbara Saunders over remarks that IFAs must improve consumer

relations to remain competitive.

Speaking at the conference last week, Saunders said advisers must improve

relations with clients and educate them more on their financial needs.

She said many of the attitudes that members of thepublic have of their

financial health are inaccurate. Saunders cites the example that 41 per

cent of the public describe themselves as experienced savers yet 30 per

cent have no money to save.

Saunders refused to go into specifics about the survey as it is not due

to be released until next week but she said people were more likely to turn

to friends or family for advice than IFAs. She also said some respondents

did not trust the advice they got from IFAs.

She conceded the survey also looked at direct sales rather than dealing specifically with IFAs.

Delegates were unimpressed by some of Saunders&#39 remarks. One IFA asked how

she could say he needed to improve his consumer skills when he had been

dealingwith the public for 30 years.

Another IFA said: “She does not know how to speak topeople. She is being

condescending and insulting.”

After her speech, an IFA said: “I disagree with the comments Barbara

Saunders made. She obviously does not know our market.”


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