An adviser has criticised IFA referral website VouchedFor.co.uk’s charging structure, saying he has been charged for leads where clients are not in a position to pay for advice.
VouchedFor launched in June 2011 and has over 500 registered IFAs. Advisers are charged a £10 monthly subscription and introducer fees for leads that result in a meeting.
Introducer fees start at £79 for advisers who do not require clients to have a minimum level of assets. This moves to £99 for clients with over £50,000 to invest, £199 for clients with over £100,000 and £299 for clients with over £250,000. VAT must be added to all introducer fees.
The website introduced a £30 admin fee last week where a client informs VouchedFor.co.uk of a meeting before the adviser.
Suttons Independent Financial Advisers IFA David Shirley says he has received seven leads from VouchedFor.co.uk and has paid for three. Of those three, only one has resulted in him writing business, while one was in financial difficulties and could not pay for advice.
He says: “From a spend of over £290 on leads, I earned an income of £500. After my company expenses and tax, I am actually out of pocket. I like the idea of VouchedFor, but the execution needs some fine-tuning.”
VouchedFor founder Adam Price says: “The leads are not vetted, VouchedFor.co.uk passes the client query in full to the adviser for them to decide whether to meet the client.
“We feel charging by appointment is fair but we are reviewing this and looking to introduce a more manageable system.”