Ray Adams, who runs Niche IFA and cashflow modelling tool provider CashCalc, is set to launch AdviserBook later this month. It will enable users to find regulated financial advisers in their area.
AdviserBook will rival the likes of Unbiased and Vouchedfor. Mr Adams decided to set up the website due to the lack of current directories in the UK.
Mr Adams said: “There is no directory in the country at the moment. There needs to be one. Unbiased is more akin to a lead generation company and it is not fit for purpose.”
He said: “Unbiased morphed into two services and it lets the public down, as the decision-making is not in the hands of the public.
“Using Unbiased you are steered towards entering your details and those details are sold to advisers to whom they may or may not be suitable, that's lead generation whereas before it used to allow the public to browse the information without handing any details over as a directory should allow.”
Financial Planning Today put Mr Adams’s claims to rival Unbiased. In response, Karen Barrett, founder and CEO of Unbiased, issued this statement.
She said: “Unbiased connects millions of people with professional advice every year and one thing that is clear is that consumers often don’t know what exactly they are looking for when it comes to finding the right adviser for them.
“Our mission is to deliver the perfect adviser match with zero stress by offering prompts, help and guidance on an easy to use platform and by encouraging advisers to respond as quickly as possible to these consumers, we can deliver the best results when it comes to connecting consumers and advisers.”
Mr Adams said that AdviserBook will allow advisers to personalise their profiles, as the CashCalc boss aims to enhance the public’s experience.
He said: “We will be putting basic details of every adviser on there. We will have the firm’s name, address, postcode, website details, contact telephone and email address, as that is all on the FCA website, so that would come across on the data feed.
“If the adviser wanted to go in and personalise their profile then they could do that. They could put their specialties, a biography etc. It’s just about enhancing it and making the experience of the public much easier.
“If advisers want to personalise their profile, it will be £10 for the firm. If they have got multiple advisers then they will have to pay an extra £5 for each adviser.”
While acknowledging he has taken a risk in setting up the website, Mr Adams hopes the adviser community gets behind the directory, in order to make the site more useful for the public.
“For me, I have taken a risk as the original cost of the FCA data feed is £22,000 a year. Then I have to pay developers to develop it. Then I have to pay £50,000 to £100,000 to set it up, and it will then cost me £50,000 each year.
“If we have greater adviser numbers using it, then we will be able to provide a greater service for the public.”