Financial advisers doing pro bono work in a Citizens' Advice Bureaux pilot study have found they may be able to generate additional business on the back of consultations, says the Personal Finance Society.
Although evidence is anecdotal at this stage, says John Ellis, spokesman for the PFS, early study of the pilot study - to test interest and viability of delivering pro bono financial advice through eight CAB offices - has so far seen some consumers recommending family friends and members also attend meetings with financial advisers, and which could translate as additional business opportunities for the advisers currently taking part in the pilot programme.
Although a final report on the study is not expected to be presented until August, Ellis says the PFS hopes to see the service continue beyond its trial period because of the benefits seen for IFAs, the CAB and the consumers advised.
“It seems to be working well for both clients and the IFAs and it is possible some advisers may actually gain repeat business from those who bring their partners in for advice too, and follow it up.
Establishment of the pro bono financial advice surgeries at the CAB follows earlier proposals by the FSA and the Financial Services Capability Forum to establish a service which helps consumers tackle financial problems but fills in the many of the gaps which CAB staff might not be sufficiently trained to deal with complex financial subjects such as mortgages and pensions.
Several parties have since invested money in the project, which includes £40,000 from the PFS.
Officials at the FSA are still very interested in the outcome of the trial, adds Ellis, and whether the concept can be pursued after the projects ends.
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