I was disappointed, but not surprised, to recently read about a very unethical scheme advice firm Chase de Vere has cooked up to boost its earnings.
According to trade paper Money Marketing, Chase de Vere has negotiated a discount with the Cofunds investment platform, but rather than pass on the saving to its clients Chase de Vere is effectively keeping the money for itself.
In my view this is both immoral and against the spirit of the FCA’s mantra that financial services companies treat their customers fairly.
The scheme appears to work by Chase de Vere clients receiving a discount on the standard Cofunds annual platform charge. This should be good news for clients. But Cofunds then reportedly charges Chase de Vere clients an annual ‘service’ fee that could wipe out the saving. And that service fee is then paid to Chase de Vere.
Net result? Chase de Vere appears to be using its bargaining power to line its own pockets, rather than benefit clients.
The whole thing seems rather underhand. And even more concerning is the article reporting that Chase de Vere is telling other platforms such an arrangement is a ‘key requirement’ to be a ‘preferred’ Chase de Vere supplier. In light of this I’m struggling to see how Chase de Vere can call itself an independent financial adviser.
For the record, Candid Financial Advice has never accepted any such deals or hospitality from any product provider. Our only source of income is the fees our clients pay us.