Only 17 per cent of adviser websites mention their fees, new analysis has shown, reigniting debates over online disclosure.
Of the 300 firms assessed by adviser marketing firm The Yardstick Agency, only just five gave sufficient detail to tell clients what fees they would be likely to pay.
The results are down from last year, where nearly 35 per cent included information about fees.
The Yardstick Agency says that while some of the difference could be down to a change in methodology, where previously advisers were asked to self-report if they disclosed fees, compared to this year where websites were independently analysed, it remains clear that “only a tiny percentage of advisers and planners disclose their fees online”.
While there are advantages to online fee disclosure, including the appearance of transparency, fewer surprises for clients and allowing advisers to filter out those unwilling to pay a fair rate for advice, others remain cautious that disclosing fees online before conversations with clients will deter enquiries and advisers will not be able to discuss value ahead of price.
The Yardstick Agency director Phil Bray says different approaches can work for different types of firms.
He says: “What we do know for certain is that if you do decide to disclose your fees online you need to do so carefully, ensuring the consumer gets the information they need, while you demonstrate your value and remain compliant.”