Consumers who have felt hard done by when being issued with excessive bank charges in the past have been urged to shun major institutions in favour of independent financial advisers (IFAs) when seeking expert guidance. Leaders at Which? suggested that people looking for financial advice will be better off visiting IFAs rather than banks themselves. However, the consumer magazine also noted that finding the most cost-effective IFAs can be difficult, as there is no set structure in place to limit how much they charge for their services. Indeed, a study conducted by the publication showed that one IFA in the north-west of England quoted £2,000 more to set up a protection policy on an investment than an adviser in Scotland. "Financial advisers should be much more transparent in their pricing, providing details of all their charges upfront," commented Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith. Many people have become disillusioned with the banking system, after City estimates compiled by Reuters showed the top five banks will each earn an average of £137 million a day throughout the year. John FieldmanHaving worked in the city for 19 years, John's main focus is interest rates and corporate finance.
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