View more on these topics

Sesame in independent label error

Business-People-Walking-Motion-Leaving-Beige-700x450.jpg

Sesame was still advertising itself as an independent adviser last week, despite signalling it would operate as restricted nearly two years ago.

In November 2013 Money Marketing revealed the network would become restricted for investments and pensions in 2014 but remain independent for mortgages and protection.

In March this year the network revealed it would no longer operate an investment advice service.

However, as recently as last week Sesame’s consumer facing page on its website said: “To ensure you get quality independent advice tailored to your needs, you should look for a financial adviser who is a member of the Sesame network.”

Sesame has since made changes to the website, removing “independent” from the page.

An FCA spokeswoman says: “We do not comment on specific companies but we expect firms to be describing themselves correctly.”

Guidance published following the RDR says: “We expect a firm to consider where and how it uses the term ‘independent advice’ to ensure that it is consistent with its obligation to be fair, clear and not misleading in its communications with clients.

“Essentially, the consumer should be left in no doubt of the type of advice they are receiving.”

Following the restructure of the group, appointed representatives will have to choose between going directly authorised as part of Bankhall, joining another network or becoming directly authorised.

Sesame says its primary concern is to avoid customer confusion and has now changed its website.

Recommended

Higginson-George-2011-700x450.jpg
3

Ex-Sesame chief George Higginson joins RBS

Former Sesame Bankhall Group chief executive George Higginson has joined Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest on a consultancy basis. He has been brought on board to advise the bank on its mortgage operation. Higginson left Sesame in January 2014 following a management shake-up at the network. Prior to his three years at Sesame, Higginson […]

Aviva-signage-building-2013-700.jpg

Aviva and Friends pledge £45m to cover Sesame liabilities

Aviva and Friends Life have pledged £45m in financial support for Sesame to cover potential liability and restructuring costs. Aviva is offering £25m and Friends Life is offering £20m which can be called upon by Sesame over the next two years. In March Sesame announced it will no longer operate as a network for investment […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What the FCA should be doing is educating people as to what the difference between independent and restricted REALLY means. We recently tried to register with a well known website that is supposed to vouch for the members on its site. We weren’t allowed to register as we are restricted. When queried the company responded saying they only accept ‘independent’ advisers as they want the public to get ‘impartial’ advice on every area of advice they are searching for. When questioned why a restricted adviser (restricted by type of advice, not provider) would not be impartial they declined to respond!! And yet the same company is happy to list solicitors that only deal with conveyancing and not other areas of the law – why are solicitors any less impartial using the same logic?

    The difference between independent and restricted is only really know by advisers. No one else knows and even less people care.

  2. You don’t say! So join all the others who are purposely blurring the distinctions and making it an art form.

Leave a comment