Adviser - Spring 2016

Adviser / independent financial advice


Riches, who hold Chartered Financial Planner status. Only about 10% of all financial advisers are Chartered, and those that are have completed a suite of

charges,” says Neil, “but a good financial adviser like Scrutton Bland will make their fees clear from the start so there are no nasty surprises.” Scrutton Bland’s Client Charter adds another level of reassurance to the client. This includes: n Response from a local IFAwithin 24 hours of your enquiry n A no-obligation initial consultation n Impartial, personally-tailored information from an independent adviser n Transparent pricing with no hidden fees A significant added benefit of using Scrutton Bland as your financial adviser is their ability to draw on the expertise of other professionals within the firm, such as the tax and insurance specialists. It is this joined-up approach that has led to the formation of their Private Client Service, which brings together the experts in each of these areas to create a complete product. “The Private Client Service saves time and money for clients with complex or diverse financial needs” says Neil. “We can hold joint meetings with you and our experts together. This means you get answers to your queries quickly and efficiently which is a win-win for both the advisers and you, our client. Many people using the Private Client Service have extremely busy lives and very much appreciate this streamlined approach. Furthermore, by talking to you face to face we can develop a much better understanding of you and your family’s financial needs, allowing us to formulate a bespoke solution.” To talk to Neil or one of his colleagues at Scrutton Bland please call 01206 838400 or 01473 267000 or go to To contact Neil Hewitt directly email Scrutton Bland are holding Inheritance Tax Planning Roadshows in Framlingham, Aldeburgh, Lavenham, Woodbridge, Frinton and Braintree from May to December this year. To find out more please call Karen Free on 01206 838400 or email Scrutton Bland Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

advanced level professional qualifications, coupled with a

demonstrable familiarity with the most up-to-date financial strategies and how they can be applied to clients, plus many years’ experience working as a financial adviser. Once you have realised that you need an independent financial adviser, what is your next step? Neil explains that “Many people are nervous about meeting a financial adviser but there are some simple things that you can research beforehand, or ask at your first meeting.” These include: Independent – are they a free agent who can act on your behalf without being restricted to certain products? As Neil says: “Every client has different needs and you should be confident that your financial adviser is looking at the whole of the market to find exactly the right product or service for you.” Qualified – don’t be afraid of asking about their qualifications. At the very least your adviser should hold a recognised qualification from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and must also have a current and valid Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) which must be renewed every year. Regulated – check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register at to make sure they are regulated by the FCA. Experienced – the Chartered financial advisers at Scrutton Bland have many years’ experience. Make sure you ask your adviser how long they have been qualified, and if they have any particular area of expertise. If you are looking for someone to advise you on, say, pensions during a divorce, then make that clear. A good financial adviser will refer you to someone in their team who has appropriate professional expertise in a specific field. Open – don’t be afraid to ask how much their advice will cost. “Most people are nervous about asking about

Added to this the recent changes in pension freedoms, tax regulations, and new developments in investment and finance, and you can see why Scrutton Bland has seen a rise in demand for financial advice in the past few months. Early last year the team of Independent Financial Advisers at Scrutton Bland was awarded the prestigious Chartered Firm Status, which is only awarded to firms which meet the most rigorous criteria in relation to their professionalism and capability in this sector and can also demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge of current financial solutions available. Within the IFA team at Scrutton Bland are a number of highly qualified professionals like Neil Hewitt and Gary


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