Unbiased: Hourly advice fees drop 14% to pre-RDR levels

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Hourly rates charged by advisers have fallen by 14% over the last year, research by adviser search website Unbiased suggests, putting rates in line with those charged before the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

The median charge for financial advice per hour fell from £175 per hour in 2013 to £150 in 2014, according to a latest poll of 140 advisers conducted in October. It was £153 in 2012.

Fees for various specific advice scenarios remained largely static over the last two years, Unbiased added.

For instance, an initial financial review and report stood at £500; advice on a £200 per month pension contribution was £500; advice for an investment strategy for a £50,000 inheritance for a 50-year-old seeking medium term growth remained charged at £1,500; and advice on setting up a drawdown scheme on a £300,000 pension fund was £3,000.

We would urge consumers to not only understand costs but also the level of service they will receive

Advice on converting a £100,000 pension fund into a lump sum and annuity saw a return to its 2012 level of £1,500, up from £1,350 charged in 2013.

Separate research carried out in July 2014 showed advisers estimated they would increase their clients' income by an average of 28% if they sought advice at the point of retirement.

Chief executive Karen Barrett (pictured) said: "Consumers can have the preconception that professional advice is not applicable to their financial situation and that the cost of advice will be unaffordable for them.

"As with any professional adviser, costs are only relevant in terms of the benefit realised. We would urge consumers to not only understand costs but also the level of service they will receive, so as to make a judgment on which adviser delivers best value for money overall."

Unbiased lists 15,000 IFAs and whole of market financial advisers on its site. It also publishes tools such as Find the right adviser checklist to help consumers choose a financial adviser.

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