Financial Services Authority: Financial advice is changing

As part of the Let’s Talk Money campaign, Martin Coppack from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has written a guest blog post about upcoming changes to financial advice. 

Older couple with IFA

If you or your loved ones have a bank account, insurance policy or use financial advice you would have come into contact with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). We are the organisation which aims to protect you by regulating the financial firms you use.

As part of this we are in the process of making one of the biggest changes in the financial marketplace in decades – we are changing the way you go about getting advice on investment products, such as ISAs and pensions.

Therefore, it’s crucial you have trust in the people who help and advise you and your families with these important financial decisions.

So what’s changing and when? Well, from 31st December 2012, you will get:

1.       Clearer charges

Though you may not have realised previously, you would have been paying for advice you were given from your adviser, through a process known as commission. This is where an adviser makes money from the investment products they sell you.

Our changes mean that instead of being paid by commission on the products they advise on, financial advisers will have to agree charges with you upfront.

2.       Clearer services

When seeing your adviser, it will be made clear to you what exactly they can advise you on, be it all possible investment options available to you or more specific areas.

3.       More professional advice

We are making sure financial advisers will have to meet higher standards of qualification, keep knowledge up to date and sign up to an ethical code requiring them to treat you fairly.

It’s good news for consumers!

Be it investing into an ISA or being adventurous on the stock market, advice will be recommended to suit your needs. Therefore you can have increased confidence in what you are being told.

To find out more see our consumer guide.  It is available to download from the FSA website and we can provide hard copies for you too.

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