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IFAs fail to ask the right questions on risk

Arc product development manager Chris Powell says IFAs must ask structured product providers more searching questions to gauge the risk of clients’ investments.

Powell, whose firm deals primarily with “less sophisticated investors and IFAs”, told a Money Marketing round table that advisers have a responsibility to probe providers on behalf of their clients when assessing the risk of structured products.

He said: “IFAs put a lot of responsibility on us in making sure that the products we offer stand up to scrutiny but I feel that we still need to be asked some more questions by them in their own due diligence process. They need to ask more searching questions at times.”

Barclays Wealth director Colin Dickie said the IFA market has increased its level of understanding of structured products, especially with regard to counterparty risk.

However, Morgan Stanley vice-president of UK structured products Marc Chamberlain said there is room for improvement. He said: “During the last two months, I have spoken to more IFAs than I can mention and there is still a lot of work to be done from a general knowledge point of view.”

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