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Trust… How do you earn it?

Every day I see examples of someone wanting me to trust them when I shouldn’t.

Spam e-mails are my first pet hate. Today’s beauty was “Helene is urging you to get the financial report done within this week. Here are some accounting data I have collected. Please merge it into your report. Best regards, Earl Watts” Who the hell are Helene and Earl?! These kind of lazy attempts to get me to open a virus laden attachment are so regular now I have become blasé to them.

My next bugbear is awards. We would love to win a bone fide award and have recently dipped our toe into the water by applying for reputable awards such as those run by our professional bodies and local newspapers. However on a weekly basis I get this:-

These awards are run by companies who charge you to enter and charge you for the award. So basically you can buy an award. A photographer friend of mine gets the same kinds of solicitations. So if a company is using an award in its marketing I am now beginning to question the value. It’s such a shame and cheapens all the brilliant efforts by people who have actually won an award through excellence.

Trust is so important in our line of work. It takes years to build and can be broken in minutes. It is not something we take lightly. We work to high ethical standards and our recruitment process emphasises this so people we employ know what we expect. Our financial planners work hard to gain not just the minimum qualifications but beyond and engage with training and professional development to keep them at the top of their game.

It was with complete dismay that I read not only in our local paper but in the national financial press that a financial advisor not a million miles away from here has been fined £110,000 by the FCA for lying about her qualifications and falsifying documents because she had not met the minimum standards to be authorised by them.

It is a really sad day for Financial Services and means that we have to work harder than ever to gain the public’s trust.

If you have any concerns about how to find a good financial advisor always get a recommendation from at least three sources, you can check their qualifications via the FCA website, this case shows that they do check and pick up on any advisors who are trying to buck the system.

Click here for the FCA Register.

Click here for advice from the Money Advice Service on how to choose a financial adviser.

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