The Sunday Times this week reported on accusations that many of the major Price Comparison sites are misleading consumers by promoting companies who pay them fees.
The article reports on independent research by Candid Money, which surveyed many of the top Comparison sites, including Money Supermarket, Go compare and Compare the Market and found that many of the “best deals” advertised, weren’t actually the best available and were being promoted by the sites in return for commissions which were rarely disclosed upfront.
For example, the top deal for a five year fixed savings account was listed on Money supermarket, Compare the Market and Go compare as Vanquis offering 2.56%, however further research on the sites showed a better deal with Virgin at 3% – but Virgin do not pay commissions on five year savings accounts to Comparison Sites. That could cost customers up to £1200 over 5 years in lost interest.
Many customers think of Comparison Sites as being independent and don’t realise that they pocket vast sums in commissions from product providers.
Consumers shouldn’t forget that all the Comparison Sites are profit organisations; Money supermarket for example reported profits of £24.8m in 2012.
Its not just savings accounts being offered by Comparison Sites its also regulated products like Life Insurance and Income Protection.
The only way to achieve a truly independent search of the market is to use a qualified Independent Financial Adviser.
IFA’s don’t work on a commission basis, we charge a fee for the advice and research we do.
The advice will always be based on clients’ individual financial circumstances, taking into account future goals and aspirations, attitudes to risk and of course personal tax positions – none of which are provided by a flat market search driven by commission, rather than best advice.