P2- Sources of
information & advice
By Waris Ali
Financial services providers
O When people talk about banks, they
normally mean the main ‘high street
banks’. These are the large banks in
most major towns. Which provide a
wide range of services. Some,
though, offer only an
online/telephone service, such as
O Today, building societies are almost identical to high
street banks in terms of the products/services they
offer. When they began they were quite different.
Groups of people got together to pay money into a
central pool and used money from this to buy houses
for the members. Because of this they were called
‘mutual societies’. They were often named after the
district where they started, such as Halifax or
Cheltenham and Gloucester.
O Gradually, any of these societies ‘de-mutualised’ and
became banks. Even those that did not do this now
offer similar services to banks.
O Independent financial advisers are not tied to any
particular provider and should know about all the
products available to suit their client’s needs. They
mainly advise on pensions and investments, and
some also give mortgage advise. Some financial
advisers are ‘tied’ to one provider. For example, if
you visit a local bank, their adviser will advise you
only on that bank’s products.
O There are two ways in which IFA’s are paid. One is by
charging an hourly rate and the other is by being
paid commission from the supplier of the financial
product. If you are contracting an IFA, make sure
they are working under FSA regulations.
O There are many different types of financial company.
Some specialise in one particular type of product,
others offer two or more. Examples of the wide variety
of financial products/services available include:
O Mortgage providers
O Consumer finance companies
O Debt management companies
O Credit card...
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