IFAs are warning their peers to be vigilant of intellectual property theft after finding their websites have been cloned by rival businesses.
Yellowtail Financial Planning, Fish Financial, ParaPlanPlus and at least two other IFA firms have found large amounts of their original material, which is protected under copyright, being used without permission on competing adviser firms' websites.
In the case of ParaPlanPlus, the cut and paste reproduction even included the ParaPlanPlus name.
Victims are advising all IFAs to use online copy detection tools such as copyscape.com to search for breaches.
Intellectual property (IP) theft is expected by some advisers to become an increasing problem post-RDR as IFAs try to find different ways to distribute advice to different consumer bases.
Dennis Hall, director at Yellowtail Financial Planning, says he was made aware of the copyright infringement by another IFA who had found the site by chance.
"We spend a lot of money getting our site right and don't want it ripped off by lazy people for their commercial gain.
"Intellectual property is a huge part of what we do. It is what we sell once commission is gone. People are paying for our knowledge however it is packaged, including on our website."
‘Important to have an anchor’
Report to be written by TPR
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected