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Sesame TCF study highlights importance of advice

Independent consumer research commissioned by Sesame as part of its TCF assessment work has highlighted the value that the public places in professional financial advice.

The research conducted by NMG Financial Services Consulting with 477 clients of Sesame members over a ten-month period identified a high level of satisfaction with the level of advice and service provided.

It showed an average of 98% of people say they would ‘definitely’, or be ‘likely’ to, use an IFA again – and/or recommend them to a friend or family member.

The research was undertaken from May 2008 to February 2009 in order to gauge consumers’ level of satisfaction of their experience with their adviser and is part of Sesame’s ongoing Treating Customers Fairly assessment work.

Michael Couzens, compliance director at Sesame, says: “We believe that this high advocacy rate and people’s willingness to recommend their adviser to friends and family demonstrates the true value of independent professional advice and the high regard that clients have for the service they receive from their IFA.”

Sesame invested more than £2m in TCF support for members in 2008, including a significant investment in its face-to-face support.

Couzens said that embedding TCF has been very challenging for the advice profession, but there have been some positive benefits for IFAs and their clients following the intensive work that has taken place.

He adds: “The reality is that the vast majority of advisers were already treating their customers fairly, but even for these advisers there are often incremental improvements that can be made, for example, the increasing trend in advisers explaining and offering fees rather than commissions.

“In the turbulent economic climate we are living in the need for expert financial guidance is greater than ever.

“So these strong satisfaction results are very encouraging. We now need to find ways of providing consumers with greater access to independent financial advice in the future – and the investment made by our profession in turn warrants a regulatory dividend.”


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