The FSA have revealed that complaints about Banks and Building Societies increased by 5% in the first half of 2010, to a staggering 1,252,467. This is probably no surprise to anyone. IFAs have to issue clients with fairly weighty “reasons why letters” explaining the advice carefully, including illustrations and disclosure of fee/commission etc. This is as it should be (in my view) yet pop along to any high street bank and overhear a telephone call where a member of staff is happily providing advice to open and close accounts, move money to Cash ISAs and so on. There is very little evidence that any “fact finding” is ever done or they spend even a moment reflecting on what might be viewed as best advice.

A great wonder then that the inevitable result of the Retail Distribution Review seems to be to lump the majority of IFAs into the same bracket as the Banks and their single or multi-tied “advice”. I am still failing to appreciate that this is little more than an attempt to move IFAs into the massive institutions where they can be “better regulated”….anyone heard of Leehman, Halifax, Northern Rock, Norwich & Peterborough….. need I continue?

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