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Ritchie slams First Direct after it warns husband against using an IFA

Finance4women founder Karen Ritchie has attacked First Direct after she said one of its staff warned her husband against using IFAs, saying the advice could be skewed by commission.

Ritchie says when her husband told a First Direct call centre operative that he did not need mortgage advice as his wife was an IFA, the operator warned him that advisers could be swayed by commission rather than the mortgage rate.

She says the statement was misleading, offensive and potentially hypocritical as call centre staff are often paid according to targets being met.

Ritchie says: “This disgraceful behaviour is like the pot calling the kettle black and unfairly tars the IFA sector with the problems caused by a minority. What about treating customers fairly?”

A First Direct spokeswoman says: “It is difficult to comment when our customer has said that he has no complaint to make to First Direct and when we do use IFAs and brokers to sell our products. Our representative was helping to inform the customer of products which may not be available through his own IFA.”


No contest

Claims Helen Pow asks whether the lack of consumer confidence in protection products might be addressed by a non-contestability clause where insurers must pay out on all claims after an initial period plus is there a danger that pension term assurance will become the default option for life cover and should advisers be putting more emphasis on recommending income protection rather than critical-illness cover?

Investment trust duo for R&M

River and Mercantile is launching its first investment funds this month. UK equity high alpha will be run by Hugh Sergeant and UK smaller companies fund by Dan Hanbury.


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