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Ads leave clients in the dark about lack of advice on offer

On the subject of advice, I feel companies that advertise by mailshot or on the internet encouraging consumers to contact them by phone or via the web should make it clear that they are not offering any advice.

I believe consumers do not understand the implications of not taking advice. Prescriptive medicine is not dangerous on its own, but taken by the wrong people for the wrong condition could be fatal. This is why we have doctors.

Why is it the FSA feels that we advisers need to have qualifications coming out of our ears, but then lets clients buy direct with no advice?

I recently received a newsletter from ING Direct promoting its mortgages. It advertised its five-star rating from Moneyfacts. It also stated that the application should take only 25 minutes.

No-one should be able to apply for a mortgage in 25 minutes. It takes me 25 minutes just to explain how we operate and what the Key Facts documents are.

This is yet another example of the FSA making our job more and more process-orientated, while other firms do what they like.

CHRIS BIRCHALL

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