I refer to a letter in Money Marketing recently from BGW Jamieson, Fact-find not needed for generalities.
I must take issue as Mr Jamieson has sadly become a member of the usual band of my detractors, the Double Glazing Fraternity, and I would respond:1: It is illegal to give advice without knowing your client’s circumstances. In these litigious times, where does generic advice stop and where does clientspecific advice start? A potential client would phone for advice that is related to their circumstances (client-specific).2: His example of a lawyer giving 15 minutes’ time free without invoice or without the need for a letter of engagement is, I would suggest a very isolated incident, and is certainly not the norm in London.3: Who is paying for the free advice given by Mr Jamieson? Does it come from the public purse? No, it is from the fees and commission earned from his other clients. One of the overriding criticisms of this industry is that our charges(whether fees or commission offset) are not client-specific.
If Mr Jamieson is so keen to help people and provide free generic advice, there are initiatives to educate the public where he could become involved such as the FSA’s workplace financial capability programme or the PFS’s link-up with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
New Barnet, Hertfordshire