Many consumers given 'inaccurate' financial advice

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MORE THAN a third of financial advisers consulted by Which? magazine gave poor advice, recommending costly and inappropriate insurance policies which earned them higher rates of commission, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

In a survey published today, the Consumers' Association's magazine describes financial advice as a 'minefield', with too many consumers paying 'unnecessary and expensive commissions'.

Which? sent three researchers to 45 advisers, including independent and 'tied' agents and sales representatives employed by insurance firms. They were looking for the cheapest way to protect their families in the event of their death.

The best advice was term insurance, payable as a lump sum or as family income benefit. But 17 of the advisers gave bad advice - suggesting endowment or whole-life policies, for example, because these earned them more commission.

Roger Taylor, of Which?, said much advice was 'misleading and inaccurate . . . the worst was truly appalling'.