How to become an Independent Financial Adviser

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: January 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Independent financial advisers (IFAs) provide personal advice on a range of financial products and services. Some focus on a particular type of product, such as savings and investments, pensions, mortgages or other loans. They work independently for their clients, recommending a variety of financial products from across the market rather than being tied to a particular provider such as a bank, building society, insurance company or other financial institution.

On 1 January 2013 new rules were introduced under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) to reform the provision of independent financial advice. Under the rules, IFAs can provide either independent or restricted advice and are prohibited from accepting commission from the provider when they arrange the sale of a financial product.

Many IFAs are sole traders, but some form limited liability partnerships (LLPs) with two or more advisers, or trade as limited companies. IFAs operating in the UK must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended by the Financial Services Act 2012).

This profile provides information about starting up and operating as an IFA. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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