View more on these topics

Force bank ‘advisers’ to reveal true colours

It seems almost incredible that people like the chief executive of Axa Sun Life are still trying to fudge the basic and fundamental criteria that differentiate salespeople, that is, tied and multi-tied agents of a provider or of a small selection of providers, from true advisers.

A tied agent is not giving advice when he says to a client: “You have £50,000 to invest, so what you need to put it in is one of these.” He is selling.

By comparison, an IFA will (or at least should) say to the client: “Before we consider options for the £50,000 you have recently received, we should review everything you have already got.”

So, the potential client who has first seen an IFA and who, on visiting his local bank branch, is all but frogmarched into a meeting with one of the bank’s “advisers” (because the counter clerk has flagged up on screen his recently increased account balance) only has to say: “And what advice can you offer me on all my existing savings, investments and pension plans?” At that point, the bank “adviser” is forced to reveal his true colours as nothing more than an agent of (at best) just two or three providers and his only response can be: “Er…nothing.” Game over.

I have said it before and, for the benefit of Paul Evans, I will say it again. The difference between a tied agent and an IFA is that the latter is able to advise on all the products of all the companies that make up the marketplace, irrespective of whether or not he would recommend any particular company or any of its products to be a good place for the client to commit or maybe leave his money.

That, a tied or multi-tied agent can never do, so let us not pretend otherwise.

Julian Stevens
Harvest IFM,


‘Investors need hedge guidance’

Cazenove head of multi-manager Marcus Brookes says the FSA must ensure retail investors have appropriate guidance if they are given full access to hedge funds.

Debt reckoning

You can do anything with figures to put a gloss on a situation or to make something look stupid. For example, even if Derby County had got 28 points a win, they would still have been relegated.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm