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Proof positive

I enjoyed and endured a recent appointment in equal measure. My clients are a 65 and 60-year-old couple running short of finances to finalise the refurbishment of their home. I had been working with them for three weeks before I met with them to answer their last questions and complete paperwork.

They were happy with my recommendation and ready to proceed, subject to checking they could trust me. Unbeknown to me, they had no trust in my profession.

They asked me to describe in substantial detail each of my qualifications. There were then lots of questions. Eventually, after two hours of grilling, they were happy I had covered all the points well (none of which related to the recommendation I had made) and they felt they could trust me.

They signed on the dotted line but after I had covered the money-laundering requirements they asked me how I could prove I was who I said I was. I offered my driving licence photocard.

I enquired why they were so distrustful and it appears they had nothing but bad experiences of advisers – an endowment that failed to achieve what they believed it would, a pension transfer that cost them thousands and an investment adviser that had put them in precipice bonds that lost them tens of thousands.

They did not trust anyone in this profession and had spoken to 10 or so advisers before allowing me to see them. We are so distrusted that the public feel safer not to trust anyone connected with financial services.

Stephen Yates

Principal, Financial Fusion

Wolverhampton

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