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Charging a fee Would have lost us four clients

I refer to Money Marketing&#39s survey in the September 12 edition on whether the public are prepared to pay fees and would like to point out a practical example that I have come across recently.

Four new clients were referred to me for financial appraisal from Professional Connections and, without exception, each asked me how much I would charge them for the interview.

My reply was that the interview was free of charge so as to collate personal details and to see if we could help.

All have since become clients and opted for the commission route for payment of fees once we explained the difference.

I am convinced that if we went down the route of fee-charging for the initial discussion – as per the FSA paper CP121 – then we would never have these clients to advise.

Howe on earth does the FSA expect advisers to exist if potential clients will not seek advice on a fee basis? Perhaps there is a hidden agenda. Your editorial comment hits the spot perfectly.

Alex Houghton

Managing director,

Houghton & Associates,

Harrogate,

North Yorkshire

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