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Unbiased won’t add restricted advisers to search listings

Unbiased.co.uk says it has no plans to extend its listing service to restricted advisers when the retail distribution review regime comes into force.

The Unbiased portal allows consumers to search for local IFAs, whole of market mortgage advisers, accountants and solicitors.

The debate over whether IFAs should consider becoming restricted advisers and/or maintain their independent status has gathered pace in recent months. National IFA firm Buckles has already said it is likely to move to a restricted advice model as it believes it will be too costly for big distributors to provide independent advice under the RDR.

Aifa is carrying out a strategic review and will have to decide whether it will extend its membership to include restricted advisers.

Unbiased.co.uk chief executive Karen Barrett says despite an expected shift towards the restricted advice channel, the portal will continue to list only whole-of-market independent advisers after the RDR.

She says: “The RDR will no doubt bring with it a shift of consumer access for financial advice but Unbiased.co.uk’s focus has always been to promote the benefits of independent financial advice to consumers and we remain committed to that. We currently have no plans on changing the adviser type we list on our search tool.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. How biased of Unbiased and I would respectfully suggest they refer onto quality advisers/financial planners because simply being independent does not always ensure the right outcomes for consumers. Watch this space for an embarrassing u turn when reality sets in and the number of Independents drops dramatically.

  2. I’m with IFAP on this. It was always the intention that the institution was there to promote independent advice-independent in the sense we all understand, namely we can use whoever we want in the market, as opposed to the FSA use of the word meaning that we give a choice between fee paying as decided by us and commission amount as decided by the provider.

    Independent advice may not guarantee the right outcome in the long term but it must have more chance of doing so than a resticted market

  3. Correct me if I am wrong. But there will not be “restricted advisers”, there will still be Independant Advice and then there will be restricted advice?
    As such, an Independant Advisory firm, may choose to give restricted advice and will have to explain the nature of that restriction in their own words?
    I might go back and read the relevant CP and make sure I’ve got it right!

  4. A right royal cheer for unbiased.co.uk. As independent advice is the gold standard of financial advice, I believe all consumers and businesses should have the right to find independent financial advice. After all, over half a million people searched for independent advisers through unbiased last year. While other bodies stare at thier navels pondering whether to include restricted advisers or not – well done to unbiased for being one of the first to stand strong for IFAs.

  5. I thought I was right – PS 10/6 Page 18 and 19. It is Independant and Restricted ADVICE, not advisers. The circumstances where the firm may be Inepdendant Financial Advisers, but may be providing restricted advice are explained here and the “Independant Firm” would need to issue different Keyfacts about our services and costs” depending upon the actual service being provided to tha particular client in question.
    It is only logical that instead of ticking the box saying you are giving “Independant Advice”, you instead tick the “No advice” box if the client comes in wanting to carry out an execution only action or if you/the client do not want to pay for the level of research required in order to provide the Independant service.
    We operate group schemes for employer’s and if the employee comes to see us, the advice to them may be “restricted” to advice in connection with the GPP their employer has offered to them.
    Resticted advice clearly can be provided to a client by an Independant adviser, teh Keyfacts has to make thise clear and the nature of the restriction needs to be made clear.
    I think IFAP may need to think about the terminology i.e. advice, not adviser sooner rather than later.

  6. Good! Restricted advisers won’t be unbiased – unless they are prepared to send clients to an independent adviser when appropriate – and I can’t see that happening.

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