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Adviser Workshop: How do you prove your independence?
by Brian Cantwell on Feb 11, 2013 at 15:57
Martin Bamford (pictured), Nigel Barker-Smith and Campbell Edgar give their tips on meeting the regulator's criteria for independence.
Managing director, Informed Choice
There was a lot of scaremongering before Christmas about how tough it would be to demonstrate and evidence independence.
We use research systems such as Synaptic Comparator, which help us evidence it, and a lot of this information goes on file. But this tends to be more for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) than the client.
Our clients, in terms of what they see in the report, take it as read that we’re looking at everything that’s in their best interests. We treat every client as an individual because you have to see what works for each client [separately]. While we have access to model portfolios, we don’t assume they are always the right solution.
Maintaining records on paper
We use online systems, but everything we do gets printed out and goes in an official paper archive as evidence.
We do believe in independence and what we do, but restricted firms can be useful for smaller clients. The independent versus restricted issue was probably brought in by the FSA because of the rise in distributor-influenced funds.
Director, NBS Financial Planning
I don’t worry about evidencing to clients, but we record client meetings in detail that evidence our process and independence.
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