Financial Mortgage Advice

Does my bank have a Financial Adviser?

Do Banks tend to have Financial Advisers?

Yes, most banks do have financial advisers available for customers.  These will not necessarily be the same staff that work at the counter or give mortgage advice and it’s likely that an appointment will be required.  There may also be a charge to use their services.

No major UK bank will have a Financial Adviser on hand at all their branches, there is simply not enough demand for their services.  A larger, flagship, branch may have advisers permanently on location with medium-sized branches having one come in at certain times of the week. Either way, it will likely be necessary to book and wait for an appointment to become available and this may involve traveling to a branch that is not your usual one.

Some banks will refer you to external advisers (who may be IFAs), who are likely to charge.

Even if your bank has a financial adviser for you to use, it may not be the best choice for you.  Getting the right financial advice is important, and not every adviser is able to give the same advice, with some advisers (like most bank ones) having restrictions in place on what they are able to do.  Understanding the pros and cons of what a bank adviser is able to do is important to make the right choice.

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What are the advantages of using my banks financial adviser

  • Makes the process simpler – by using the same bank to provide financial advice that you use for all of your other banking it can be easier to keep track of.
  • The belief that they are more trustworthy – there is still a widespread belief that banks and their employees are by default trustworthy individuals who have your best interests at heart, and this can be comforting and reassuring to many.  Whilst a bank employed adviser might well want to do their best for you and can be trusted, they are still ultimately employed by the bank and are restricted by the rules the bank has set down (e.g. only offering a restricted set of financial products, usually only the ones offered by the bank itself).
  • It may be cheaper – the adviser at your bank might charge you less in advice fees to give you advice than an IFA, making it seem like a better deal. However, it’s important to remember that the advice fee is only one part of deciding what is the best adviser for you, especially as there are often other costs involved in financial advice apart from the upfront front fee that needs to be taken into account.  Be wary of choosing an advisor based on saving fees if it results in a much higher cost as a result of not getting the best advice.

What are the disadvantages of using my banks financial adviser?

Whilst your bank may have a Financial Adviser that you can use, and which may even be free to use, there are a few points to consider.

  • They are not Independent – Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) can look across all the financial products in the market to help choose the best one for you. A bank adviser will only be able to offer the products sold by the bank they work for.
  • They only offer a limited range of products – as they are likely to be restricted to only the products that their bank sells, you can miss out on the opportunity to get a better product for you.  For example, the bank’s Financial Adviser may offer you the best version of Finance Product A that they have, but you may be better off with Financial Product B, which they don’t offer.
  • They work for the bank, not for you –ultimately they are bank employees and, whilst they are bound by regulations and ethics to do the right thing for the customer, ultimately they are agents of the bank.  An IFA in contrast legally works on the customer’s behalf, representing their best interests.
  • You may have to sign up – your bank may only offer a Financial Advisor to customers that are signed up to a certain type of account, e.g. a “wealth/platinum” current account.  This upgrade may not be possible or may involve a paid upgrade. 

Importance of independence

It’s important to remeber that the advisers employed by the bank will likely be Restricted advisers. That means that they are only able to offer products sold by the bank and cannot look elsewhere.

If using an Independent Financial Adviser then the advisor must look across all the products and solutions from across the market to find the best combination and fit for you.

So whilst a bank adviser may recommend the most suitable product from their range, it is not necessarily the best from all the banks or other providers.

Final Thoughts

Whilst your bank may not have an adviser in every branch, it is likely that they can arrange an appointment for one to talk to you.  This may be complimentary, or you may have to pay.

Whether it is free or not, for something as important as your finances and your future, it’s important to find the right person to talk to.  Making the right financial choices, especially when it comes to pensions, investments and saving for your retirement, are some of the most important ones you will make in your life and can make a huge difference to your future.  Making sure you get the best advice is key.

Many IFAs (such as ourselves) offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and what steps you may want to take.  This can be a good way to find out what Independent financial advice can offer and you may find it helps answer many of the questions you may have.  Please get in touch if you would like to discuss anything further.

Fill out our contact form and an adviser will call you back.

Give us a ring for a Free no obligation discussion on how we may be able to help you: 01173 823 823

Drop us a line with any query you may have and we'll make sure we get back to you as quick as we can: contact@leafifa.co.uk