Unbiased.co.uk has defended its use of the advice label “restricted whole of market” after the FCA warned the term could confuse consumers.
Speaking at the Personal Finance Society annual conference in Birmingham last week, FCA technical specialist Rory Percival questioned firms who called themselves “whole of market restricted” and “restricted whole of market”, saying it was “best not to go there”.
Unbiased.co.uk, which includes listings from advisers which describe themselves as restricted whole of market, says the RDR effectively created the issue as the regulatory definition of restricted covers too many different types of firm.
Chief executive Karen Barrett says: “It is the ‘restricted’ part that is a problem. The category ‘restricted whole of market’ adviser is something that has been created as a result of the RDR. The problem is not the label itself, it is the fact that the current term ‘restricted’ covers too broad a range of advice propositions to be easily understood by the consumer.”
She adds the website will continue to use the term but would drop it if advisers began to shun the label.
Barrett says: “We will continue with our work to promote the benefits of whole of market advice to consumers and will continue to do so in a way which is most readily understood by the consumer.”
Writing in Money Marketing last week, Sesame chief executive George Higginson confirmed the network would be whole of market for investments and pensions, while being independent for mortgages and protection.
Sesame declined to comment following the FCA statement.