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Advisers say independence is down to product range, not remuneration

Ninety-four per cent of advisers believe that independence should not be determined solely by the way they are remunerated, as proposed in the retail distribution review, according to Skandia.

The company surveyed 158 advisers and found only 7 per cent believe remuneration is the most important factor determining independence. Sixty-one per cent say the product range they advise on is the most important factor.

Head of marketing Billy Mackay says consumers take independence to mean whole of market and are happy to consider the whole range of remuneration options.

He says: “The way that an adviser is remunerated is not an issue. The important thing is that the IFA advises on the entire market. It is absolutely clear that clients are happy to embrace all types of remuneration models. Channelling them all down the one path does not sit well with them.”

Mackay says clarity over the type and scope of the advice that consumers choose is vital to ensure people understand the level of service they will receive, the cost attached and the benefits.

Informed Choice director Martin Bamford says: “Independence should not be solely down to remuneration. It should be a combination of factors including independence of remuneration, independence of products and independence of ownership. These are the factors that consumers take independence to mean.”

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