Barclays fine is a ‘damning indictment’ of bank sales, say advisers

Advisers say Barclays’ £7.7m FSA fine for mis-selling Aviva’s Global Balanced Income and Global Cautious Income funds is “a damning indictment” of the banks’ sales-driven advice models.

They say the 12,000 Barclays clients who invested £692m in the Aviva funds should have visited an IFA.

Nick Cann, the chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning, says: “The fine is a damning indictment of this advice and the process that was followed by this organisation and its advisers.

“It also raises questions about other bank advice models. While the organisation was fined, there is no mention of individual accountability as there was, for example, in the Park Row case. There has to be a level playing field and the consumer deserves better.”

Greg Heath, the managing director of Derbyshire Booth Financial Management, says: “As a small IFA, we come across a lot of disenchanted investors like these. We cannot figure out if the cause is poor training or the pressure that bank staff are put under.” (article continues below)

Martin Bamford, the managing director of Informed Choice, says: “We have long held the belief that banks have an underlying sales culture. With all the publicity associated with this, we hope people will realise this is about bad bank selling, not bad advice.”

Stephanie Pickering, a chartered financial planner at Verity Wealth Management, says: “Too many clients think you can just walk in and get free advice from a bank. I have to tell people that they are not getting advice, they are getting sales.”

Dennis Hall, the managing director of Yellowtail Financial Planning, says: “The mis-selling would not have happened in anything like the same kind of numbers” if the clients had used an IFA.