The "menu" for pricing financial services products published by the FSA today could prove to be a good marketing tool for IFAs if consumers start using it post-depolarisation, says the Association of IFAs.
Aifa believes the proposed changes could work in favour of advisers as they somewhat highlight the advantages of seeking independent financial advice.
Paul Smee, director general of Aifa, says: "It seems from the FSA’s research that consumers like the idea of the menu so it may prove a good marketing tool for IFAs.
"Tied agents, direct sales forces and new types of distributors of financial services products, will be required to adopt the menu approach and disclose their costs and charges upfront on an equivalent basis. So the consumer will be able to compare services and costs with other advice/distribution channels. We believe that this could show the advantages of using the IFA channel."
Agreeing with this, Paul Johnston, managing director of Momentum Financial Services, says: "The strength of the menu should be in empowering consumers and demonstrating the value of advice."
That said, Johnston warns the proposal to compare different companies against each other could add further confusion for consumers, and force them to focus on price rather than the quality of advice.
He adds: "This proposal forces the consumer to focus on price, whereas the real value is in the quality of advice - ensuring the consumer gets the most appropriate advice that suits their own particular needs."IFAonline
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