The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a new guide to consumers on the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), emphasising that financial advice has never been free.
The six-page document runs through the three key areas of 'improvements' to the industry, with consumer told they will 'know how much advice will cost', 'know what you are paying for' and 'get improved professional standards'.
An explanation of the difference between independent and restricted financial advice post-RDR is also included in the guide.
It also explains how commission works, detailing how it means advice is not free at present.
It added: "From 31 December 2012, financial advisers that provide ‘independent' advice will be able to consider all types of investment products that might be suitable for you. They can also consider products from all firms across the market.
"An adviser will have chosen to offer ‘restricted' advice where they can only consider certain products, product providers or both.
"Your adviser will have to clearly explain what they can advise you on."
It also tells consumers they should ask their advisers what they are currently charging and how much that same advice will cost in the future, so they can assess the impact on their finances.
The guide follows on from a previous effort by the FSA to publicise RDR, which drew criticism from the industry.
Copies of the new guide will be sent to Citizens Advice Bureau branches across the UK and is also available online.
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