Sesame in independent label error

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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.