Regulator: Many Britons receiving poor advice from banks

15 February 2013

Banks in the UK do not always provide customers with accurate and sound investment advice, a new study has found.

Research conducted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has established that the quality of the information provided by professionals at British financiers often falls short of the standards expected.

The regulator carried out a mystery shopping review between March and September last year in order to make judgements about the quality of investment guidance provided by staff at banks and building societies.

This investigation focused on six major firms in the retail banking industry and found evidence that 11 per cent of its 231 mystery shopping cases ended with a professional giving unsuitable advice.

Additionally, in 15 per cent of the mystery shops carried out, the staff member failed to gather enough information to make sure their advice was suitable for the customer.

Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FSA, commented: "This review shows that customers are not consistently getting the quality of advice on their investments that they should expect when visiting an adviser in a bank or building society."

By Asim Shah

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