Which? says seven of the 19 tied advisers questioned made misleading statements about the providers they could recommend, while 13 advisers made misleading statements about costs.
The results also show more than a quarter of tied advisers failed to establish clients’ attitude to risk correctly and half didn’t recommend paying off debts before investing, according to Which?.
Only 32 per cent of tied advisers, who mainly work for high street banks or building societies, passed all the benchmarks.
Meanwhile, independent financial advisers achieved an overall pass rate of 48 per cent, according to the research.
Which? magazine editor Neil Fowler says: “For more complex financial products such as investments, mortgages and pensions you really should see an adviser unless you’re confident that you understand the market, but with a shocking number of advisers failing our test it’s clear that you need to choose your adviser very carefully.
“On the whole you’ll get better advice from an independent financial adviser, as you’ll have more choice – but be clear about the advice you need, contact at least three advisers and check their qualifications and charges up front. That way you stand a better chance of getting the good quality advice that is so vital for financial decisions.”