A consumer survey conducted by the Financial Advice Code Working Group has found six key themes that clients expect as given when receiving financial advice.
The survey was undertaken during the CWG’s consultation period in March and April 2018, intended to help the CWG capture some consumer views about their expectations of financial advisers.
Given the twelve proposed standards released by the CWG, the survey indicated that consumers expect financial advisers to:
- Ask questions and to make sure the client understands the commitment – see Standard 1
- Have a high level of integrity – Standard 2
- Disclose and manage conflicts of interest, and to be honest about their dealings – Standards 2 and 3
- Communicate effectively (e.g. in plain English and to present options clearly) – see Standards 1 and 4
- Have ‘basic qualifications’ (Standard 9) and expertise relevant to their work (Standards 11/12)
- Provide them a seamless experience when accessing advice – see Standard 4
CWG Chair, Angus Dale-Jones, mentioned the survey when the draft Code was released:
“As part of this consultation we also conducted a survey of consumers’ experiences with financial advice, which provided some useful insights on what consumers expect and how a Code of Conduct could improve outcomes for consumers,” he said.
Referring to Standard 1 of the draft Code, Dale-Jones said, “The Code is about this overarching spirit of doing the right thing and thinking of the customer and we think the best advisers will do that naturally but we’re trying to capture some words that remind all advisers of the sorts of the things that they need to be thinking about.”
“The Code is about this overarching spirit of doing the right thing and thinking of the customer…”
The CWG noted the survey’s limited sample size (147 respondents).
“As the survey was conducted for a specific purpose, the findings cannot be extrapolated more widely but they have helped us think about consumer perspectives,” it stated.