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What protection do I have?
Your adviser will always endeavour to ensure the products recommended are suitable for you. When the adviser is advising you on regulated products (including investments, insurance and some forms of mortgages) you have the protection of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
If you are unhappy about the advice or service you have received you should firstly contact the firm that provided the advice or service. This gives them the chance to put things right and/or to provide their own version of events. Should you remain dissatisfied you maybe entitled to refer your complaint to the FOS who will investigate the complaint independently and make a ruling. The FOS work with customers and financial advisers to resolve a complaint, and when they do have to make a ruling it is binding upon the firm. Full details of how to contact the FOS together with information about how to complain are available from their website – www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 023 4567.
If you try to submit a complaint to a firm and the firm is dissolved, or unable to meet its obligations, you may have recourse to the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). This service is funded by levies on firms that are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to protect customers where firms have closed or gone into liquidation.
Anything else I should know?
Some financial advisers do give advice on products that are not regulated by FCA – such as general taxation and some Buy-to-Let mortgages. Your adviser will explain to you when you are receiving advice on an unregulated product. It is important you are happy with the advice as you may not have the added protection of the FOS or FSCS when dealing with some unregulated products.