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Adviser seeks support to take on Unbiased and Vouchedfor

Adviser seeks support to take on Unbiased and Vouchedfor

An adviser hoping to launch his own directory to compete with Unbiased and VouchedFor is looking for more advisers to support the project.

Ray Adams, director of Newport-based Niche IFA, will be launching his directory – Adviser Book – in July.

All advisers registered with the Financial Conduct Authority will be listed on the directory but they can pay £10 a month to enhance their profile with things like a link to their website.

Mr Adams, who is also behind cashflow planning tool CashCalc, said: “It may work but if we all go on social media and moan about it then it definitely won’t work.

“I am taking a punt on it and I am going to invite another 30 people to take a stake in it.”

He said inviting more advisers to invest in the directory would provide a pot of money to invest in the service.

Mr Adams acknowledged that the incumbents had a dominant position in the market but said he was hoping to challenge their position by asking providers and the FCA to flag his service alongside Unbiased or VouchedFor in their literature.

He said VouchedFor and Unbiased were effectively “lead generation services”.

Mr Adams said: “I think clients might feel a little bit uncomfortable that the adviser has spent money to speak to them and might need to get their money back.

“Unbiased really helped me with my business when I became a financial adviser in 2005. But somehow it has morphed into the same as VouchedFor.

“It is letting the public down.”

Mr Adams said he has been working on the directory since August and he expected it to cost £200,000 to set up but then its running costs to be £100,000 a year thereafter.

He paid £22,000 to the FCA to use its publically available data commercially.

He said that if 10 per cent of the UK adviser population sign up to the premium service he will recoup his investment.

Advisers who sign up to Adviser Book will be able to identify whether they are chartered, independent, restricted and whether they specialise in any areas of advice.

The information they provide will be automatically cross-referenced to publically available information but if there is a discrepancy it will be checked manually.

The public will be able to search for advisers which match any of these criteria and Mr Adams said he was considering including the ability to search by how an adviser charges.

damian.fantato@ft.com