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IFAs call for independent fee only adviser category

A 16-strong group of fee only IFAs are lobbying the FSA for the creation of an independent, fee only adviser category.

The FSA’s consultation paper on integrated regulatory reporting proposed changes to provide better data about market segmentation, requiring advisers to state whether they are independent, whole of market, multi-tied or tied.

But the peer group says there should also be a distinction between advisers who charge on a fee only basis, by a mixture of fees and commission, or commission only.

In a letter to the FSA the group says there is a sizeable and increasing minority of consumers seeking an independent fee only adviser/planner solution and they are not all high net worth investors.

The letter states: “There is no means for consumers to find the genuine fee for service independent financial adviser, which could lead to consumer detriment.”

Tower Hill Associates director John Lang says the message he wants to get across is not that fees are better than commission, just that consumers should have access to reliable information.

He says: “If an increasing and meaningful number of consumers are seeking a fee only adviser then the FSA has a responsibility to protect those consumers by creating a verifiable independent fee only category and publishing this information.”

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