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90% Of banks and societies fail Which? mystery-shop test

Almost 90 per cent of banks and building societies gave inappropriate advice on how to invest a lump sum to mystery shoppers from Which?

Only four out of 37 branches gave good advice while the remaining 33 recommended “inappropriate products without properly explaining the risks” or failed to get even the “basics of good advice” right.

The investigation shows 21 of the 37 advisers recommended some of the money should be put into capital-guaranteed products, with eight saying these plans had “no risk”.

Six advisers suggested an investment bond, failing to adequately explain the risks.

Fourteen advisers failed to mention the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, with only one advising to split savings between two institutions to avoid going over the £50,000 limit.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: “This is yet more evidence that the way many banks treat their customers has not improved since our taxes bailed them out.”

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “It is a sad indictment of the sales culture in large institutions. More reports like this need to get out into the public domain.”

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