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Would you trust the advice of brokers who are receiving commission?

Last week, Radio guru Paul Lewis warned that there is a conflict of interest when financial advisers receive commission from lenders that also charge fees. Lewis says that although not all brokers will be swayed by commission some will and this is in conflict with their status as advisers.

So this week Mortgage Strategy asks: Would you trust the advice of brokers who are receiving commission?

Matt Whiting, 24, PR consultant

As long as advisers are getting good fees there is no reason why they should be asking for commission on top. If some stopped asking for commission and some didn’t, the market would decide and those receiving commission would lose out.

Walter Soares, 34, factory supervisor

Charging commission on top of fees isn’t fair. I would be worried that a broker was making extra money out of me when they should be helping me. I don’t want to be ripped off by greedy advisers, especially when I’m supposed to be getting fair advice on how to make the most of my money.

Simon Wakeman, 32, art director

The adviser I have always used is fee-free. He sold me lots of insurance and he probably got cuts. I don’t believe in something for nothing and brokers have to get money from somewhere, but commission makes me suspicious. I’m sure brokers are in some people’s pockets and have deals with lenders. I remember wanting a product from Northern Rock but my adviser would not arrange my mortgage with it, which led me to question why.

Rahel Uniyan, 36, marketing student

If I choose to seek out advice I know I will be paying extra fees on top of commission. I don’t have a problem with that, as I’m sure an adviser would be able to offer me a deal that is more comprehensive than a bank would. It’s up to us as consumers if we choose to pay the extra to get independent advice or go to a bank.

Henrietta Hamilton, 32, curator

I don’t think it’s fair that brokers earn commission off the back of selling consumers mortgages. I think that if a person’s financial situation is complicated they should go to a specialist broker but otherwise they should go straight to their bank to get advice. If they did that, lender commission would not be a complicating factor.

Steven Barnes, 37, key accounts manager

I know my financial adviser receives a flat fee. As long as this situation is transparent, I think it’s fair and I don’t care about the commission he receives. However, I can understand why commission charges would worry some people. I think mortgage brokers are as dodgy as estate agents.

Valderman Gomes, 25, chef

People should use banks. They should be the best places to go for all financial your needs. I know some people don’t think they are the best place to go, but I don’t want to have to pay extra for similar information. Banks are not driven by commission.

Fabriec Berenguer, 31, restaurant manager

A bank may not give me the best advice but it is quicker and cheaper to walk in. Going to an adviser would give you more options and could save money in the long run, as long as you have the money to use one in the first place.

Robin Bridge, 48, product manager

The fact that advisers are making money out of me bothers me. I like to do my own research. It saves me money and I understand better what sort of deals I am getting.

Andrew Sylvester, 36, business consultant

The commission advisers get could skew their judgement. I wouldn’t be convinced that a decision is right one for me if I know my adviser was getting a big commission from the lender involved.


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