Independent Financial Adviser (IFA)
An independent financial adviser (IFA) is a professional adviser on financial matters able to advise on all the products available on the marketplace.
IFAs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority's rules, which mean they are required to offer advice on the products best suited to personal needs.
Products recommended by IFAs are assessed for their benefits, charges, flexibility, service and financial strength, and this is then matched to a client's requirements.
All IFAs have to offer 'suitable advice'; that is to say they have to understand a client's circumstances and needs before helping them choose between financial products.
Additionally, IFAs have to provide written reasons as to why they believe a product is right, to ensure the client is fully informed before buying something on their advice.