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Assessing the credibility of financial information and advice

When doing research on financial information and advice, it is important that a consumer is aware of the potential bias (one-sided outlook) of the sources of information they are researching in order to make a fully informed decision.

How biased are the following sources?


The Money Advice Service

This would be considered a non-biased source of information as it is an independent service set up by the government to give professional, impartial, quality advice on financial matters.

The Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis

This would be considered a non-biased source of information as the detail on the website is independent from commercial objectives.

Financial Comparison Websites:

www.gocompare.com, www.comparethemarket.com, www.moneysupermarket.com, www.uswitch.com

These are usually considered non-biased sources of information. However not all companies use a comparison website and so the consumer may need to use many comparison sites to be able to make a fully informed decision.

Speaking to a financial adviser

This would be considered as a non-biased source of information as the advice should come from an adviser who is registered, qualified and independent and it should be with the interests of the consumer at the centre. Financial Advisers are expected to comply with the Financial Conduct Authority whose work is defined by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.


Speaking to the Citizens Advice Bureau

This would be considered an unbiased source of information as its advisers gives information that is impartial, independent and with the interests of the consumer at the heart. The Citizens Advice complies also with the Financial Conduct Authority and this ensures the advice given is unbiased.


Speaking to your bank manager/someone at your local building society

This would be considered a biased source of information as if the consumer takes on any of products offered by the bank/building society, the adviser may receive a commission or a bonus for this.


Speaking to friends and family

This would be considered a biased source of information as they will usually make recommendations on what they have experienced themselves.

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