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Independence tool launches for advisers

A new online tool has launched this month which aims to help advisers demonstrate their independence by showing they have considered the whole market before recommending a product.

Independence Checker was designed by Devon-based IFA firm Loughtons for use in their own business.

The tool features spreadsheets containing all fund types available across the retail investment market. The spreadsheets can be filtered and applied to different client segments across what Loughtons deems as the appropriate product wrappers and fund compositions.

The firm says the programme allows advisers to document and demonstrate how and why they have chosen from the relevant market.

A licence for the programme currently costs £1,497, which will rise to £1,997 from 1 March.

Loughtons director Peter Blackburn says: “We built this product during 2012 for our own business knowing that we would have to improve the process around evidencing independence in the new RDR world.”



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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is that an annual licence fee? Is it Vatable or does this include VAT? I can buy 25 bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc for that price. If advisers do not yet know what they have to have in a client file to show evidence of research of the whole market to prove independence then they are in serious trouble. Maybe its just me but if anyone (outside of the licensing company itself) thinks this a good idea I would welcome your thoughts.

  2. Or 400 bottles of Blossom Hill Crisp & Fruity White Wine.

    Initially I thought this was a good idea but not at that cost. My experiences with this kind of software (Synaptic, Aequos, Adviser Asset, etc) show that the data is out of date or that providers massage the stats to make their plans more attractive (e.g. halving the initial charge on a SIPP but then charging the annual fee in advance).

    The only way to ensure the research is completely independent and up to date is to do it yourself.

  3. As an IFA and the person who designed this software, my aim initially was to ensure that independence, as defined in FG 12-15 was demonstrated in every single piece of advice we gave within our firm. It wasn’t designed initially with the thought of marketing it but given that other IFAs could see the value it gave, and wanted to buy it, it was brought to market. The software is designed to evidence that the relevant UK market has been fully considered and show why some solutions were inappropriate and why they were excluded, leaving a smaller filtered list for the IFA to research and refine before making recommendations.

    The fee is a one off cost and comes with additional supporting material to help your firm demonstrate independence.

  4. Apologies, I thought I hadn’t posted the above comment anonymously.

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