Wealth Managers Pass Advice Test

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Wealth management firms and private banks looking after the financial affairs of well-off investors have been given a clean bill of health by financial watchdogs.

After a review of how several firms in the market operate, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reported that no major conflicts of interest exist between giving advice about in-house investment products or third-party products.

However, the FCA noted there was some room for improvement;

  • Wealth managers need to consider how in-house investment advice can better serve their customers
  • Portfolios should be more closely monitored to make sure they do not have an in-house investment bias
  • Wealth managers need to clearly state to customers the difference between their own products and those bought in from other companies

“Wealth managers need to make sure there is no conflict between advising investors to put money into their own products rather than third party products,” said an FCA spokesman.

“Our review certainly does not indicate that this is a problem.

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“This review was generally positive and we do not have plans to investigate any further.”

Jersey bank warning

The Jersey Financial Services Commission is warning expat savers not to do business with the Channel Offshore Bank.

The bank claims to have been in business since 1989 in the island’s capital of St Helier.

However, the commission warns that the online statements are misleading and the bank is not authorised to take deposits or lend money.

“It appears to the commission that the bank as described on the website is falsely purporting to trade and is carrying on, or holding out that it is carrying on, deposit-taking business in Jersey when it is not authorised to do so.”

Warnings about bogus advisers 

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

Reporting a suspected bogus adviser

Find out how to report unauthorised advisers on the FCA web site

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