Refers to services provided by the financial services industry. Financial services encompass a broad range of organisations that deal with the management of money. Among these organisations are banks, and building societies, credit card companies, insurances companies, consumer finance companies, etc.
Financial services is an all encompassing phrase for any kind money management product, all have a unique end provision. Credit cards have uses, but so does appropriate mortgage borrowing; well selected life assurance and other financial services, such as investment advice are imperative.
When you are shopping around for financial services products, it's important to know whose offering what and what financial services will suit your needs. Therefore, you will need to consult an adviser who works in the financial services industry.
You can gather financial services information yourself (available from, for example, banks, building societies, adverts or online), or get financial services advice from an adviser.
When you collect financial services information this way it will be 'off the shelf' and it won’t be personalised – so your individual circumstances are not considered.
Financial services business will provide professional advice using an adviser who reviews your personal circumstances and then recommends financial services products, which are suitable for your needs. Businesses that offer financial services on certain products in the UK must to be regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Alternatively, they can be an agent of a regulated business. Regulated businesses and their agents are included on the Financial Services Authority Register and have to meet a range of professional standards. Always make sure the business you are considering using is on the Financial Services Authority Register and is authrorised to give financial services advice before dealing with them.
The Financial Services Authority sets standards for how businesses should give you financial services advice for most types of:
• Life, critical illness and family income protection assurance
• General Insurances; such as buildings and contents
• Mortgages, remortgages, commercial loans*, secured loans
• Investments; such as personal pensions.
You don't have to see an adviser when you're buying financial services products, but if you don't you may choose something that’s not suitable for your needs and you'll have fewer grounds to make a complaint.
If you do decide to see a financial services adviser, they can give you advice about managing your money as a whole, or help you with specific needs or goals.
You may decide you want financial services advice if for example, you:
• Are considering protecting your family in the event of accident, sickness or death
• You inherit a lump sum of money*
• Are looking to purchase your first property and need mortgage advice.
• Want to start saving for a pension
The service you may be offered
Make sure the service the business is offering you meets your needs – decide if you just want to buy a particular product or if you want the financial services adviser to provide you with an ongoing service.
Financial services businesses may either:
• Offer both advice and product information
• Provide information about financial services products
• Give advice
Check that the adviser can offer advice on financial services products you’re interested in. Some businesses offer advice on mortgages, insurance and investments, etc. Others may only offer advice on a couple of these.
The financial services products you may be offered
The financial services products advisers offer will vary. For example, some offer products from:
• A limited number of providers
• The firm they work for or firms within that group of companies
The extent of financial services advice a firm offers may vary from product to product. For example, a business could offer mortgages from the whole-of-market, but life assurance from a limited number of providers. So think about the type of financial services products you think you need and ask a financial services advisers what products they offer.
What you will have to pay
In some instances your will have to pay for the advice you are given and the financial services business may charge a fee for arranging and advising on some products, such as a processing and application fee for arranging a mortgage.
In a lot of instances the financial services business won’t charge any fee, as they are paid commissions from the provider of the product or financial services they recommend.
Ask the financial services adviser to explain what you may have to pay for and how you can pay.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Frog Financial Management can provide advice on mortgages, life, critical illness and income protection insurance, buildings, contents and accident, sickness and unemployment insurance and business assurance. Should you have a need for any of the following: Will writing*, inheritance tax planning*, secured and unsecured loans*, commercial mortgages* and investment advice you will be referred to a third party provider. Neither Frog Financial Management nor First Complete Ltd accepts responsible for the advice provided by the third party.
*These products and services are generally not regulated by the Financial Services Authority.