The ‘Fairness Index’, produced by the Financial Services Research Forum at Nottingham University Business School, looks at consumer perceptions of fairness with regards to financial services.
The Index takes into account measures including impartiality, familiarity, courtesy and communication.
The Index found IFAs scored 84 out of 100, which is higher than the industry average of 72.
Advisers were followed by building societies with a score of 75, investment companies with 73, life insurers with 72 and general insurers which scored 72.
Banks and credit card companies scored the lowest ratings with just 68 and 63 respectively.
Association of Independent Financial Advisers director general Chris Cummings says the findings provide a strong endorsement of the IFA profession.
He says: “Not only is the profession the most trusted, but it is also regarded as the most fair. This is no mean feat given the recent economic conditions.
Financial Services Research Forum director Professor Nigel Waite says: “When it comes to IFAs, consumers’ perception of fairness is particularly influenced by courtesy, communication and familiarity. It is perhaps not surprising that familiarity should be seen as a significant driver of perceptions of fairness in this context, as a degree of familiarity is crucial to fulfilling the role of an IFA successfully.
“As Government and employers transfer responsibility and risk to individuals, we must encourage consumers to take more interest in their financial affairs. Fair outcomes for consumers will help create a sense of confidence and trust in the marketplace, which will help persuade customers to engage more meaningfully with financial matters.”