Commission is killing off independent money advice

Regular readers know that this column does not answer readers’ letters (that is in another section) but Connexion asked me if this query provided inspiration: “Do independent brokers have to tell clients the commission they earn on recommendations, as was the case in the UK before it was compulsory to charge fees only? If they don’t have to, will they? Does the amount of potential commission influence recommendations?”

“I don’t expect a ‘frank’ answer,” said the reader.

Inspiration indeed! I will start by being blunt. If commission levels vary from fund to fund/provider to provider, this will naturally influence the advice given. If not by all, at least by some. It follows that any adviser incentivised by this is unlikely to have your best interests at heart.

I did write a (frank) article on how advice is paid for in September 2017. Much has changed.

The article highlighted how France is highly regulated, with significant power over French-regulated (as I am) advisers. The loophole was the EU passport, which allowed advisers from other countries to market their services ...

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