Chartered status trumps ‘independence’
Consumers put more weight on an adviser’s status as a chartered financial planner than their independent label, research by Skandia has found.
A study of 706 financial decision makers who had used a financial adviser in the past 12 months found that 86 per cent thought chartered status was ‘attractive’ attribute, with 49 per cent finding it to be ‘extremely attractive’, according to the provider.
It also found that 51 per cent of respondents said they preferred independent advisers, with 32 per cent believing the quality of advice was more important irrespective of whether they held independent or restricted status. The research also found that 67 per cent of respondents would prefer a chartered adviser with restricted status, compared to 33 per cent who would prefer an independent adviser with chartered status.
Nick Dixon, Skandia’s marketing director, said: “The term ‘restricted’ can be taken to imply that a restricted adviser will only be able to recommend products from a very narrow set of providers. In reality a financial adviser will be able to recommend all investments apart from the most obscure hedge funds and still technically be classed as restricted. It is the quality of advice that will be key rather than labels.”
Anthony Foulger a Lancashire-based Positive Solutions chartered financial planner, said: “A lot of my business comes from referrals and word of mouth. I think my status as chartered has taught me to give a very detailed breadth of advice, but I still don't think our clients realise how qualified we are and how much work goes into becoming chartered.
“It’s all about the person, their knowledge and what quality of service they give, but that said, the research results do recognise the hard work we have undertaken.”