Trust and reputation. Hard won easily lost.

Financial Advisory

25 June 2019

Advisory DistributorsClientCommunicationExperienceFinancial AdvisoryFinancial servicesInterest


  1. Trust has to come from the top and the government and regulator need to stop ‘beating the industry up’
  2. Trade body not speaking up enough for the industry
  3. Transparency of charges – push back on how the government is pushing this as the end user now has more paper work, more figures and less understanding making matters more difficult and more complex for them to understand
  4. Trust is subjective and cannot be easily measured

Key Challenges:

  • Often firms are in the position where they have to give the client what they need and not necessarily what they want. Doing the right thing isn’t always popular
  • Many clients need ‘no risk’ products and it is difficult delivering advice in a cost effective manner at this level. Loss of capital products (majority of investments) can often work against trust
  • Explanation of fees on an IFA’s website – most firms found this very difficult and some firms had tried it but then had to take it down as it caused confusion. Given that advice is bespoke how do firms portray their fees on their website?
  • The challenge surrounding trust is not with those individuals who are either already clients of an advisory firm or who have taken advice but those who have never taken advice. The latter group seems to be the focus of the government and press which does not give a true representation of the industry

Conclusions and solutions:

  • The trade body needs to start to represent the positive work the profession does and get the message out better than it is currently doing
  • Content on firms’ websites can help regarding the work they do, client testimonials and relevant information that can assist clients can help build trust
  • Look at different ways of communicating as the prospective clients could well be younger and your messaging possibly needs to be very different from the type of messaging that you use for existing clients

Expert: Andrew Pike, NS&I