Charlie Weston published a good article recently in the Irish Independent (26th October) highlighting the danger posed to consumers by banks using the current low interest rate environment to sell their investment products under the guise of  coming in for 'a chat'. In the article he advises that if you get one of these phone calls inviting you in for a chat 'do not respond. Instead, run a mile. Getting financial advice from a bank on how and where to invest is almost guaranteed to turn into bad advice that boosts commissions and fees for the bank - at your expense.'

There is no doubt that the combination of low interest rates and the punitive DIRT tax rate are making life impossible for the Investor whose money is mainly in Deposit accounts and as a result a lot of money is flowing into other investment options such as Funds, Property etc However by definition the Deposit investor is cautious and they need to move from the certainty of Deposits slowly and carefully so that they don't end up taking on more risk than they are comfortable with in the pursuit of better returns. By and large an Institution (including the banks) will want to sell you their own products so any investment advice they provide at best is lacking balance. The Banks in particular are highly predatory in looking at who has money 'resting in their accounts' and sweet talking them into coming in for 'the chat'. Sometimes they deliberately refer to client overdrafts, loans etc to exert subtle pressure on the client so they end up getting into transactions they never should have. We often see situations where banks will pressure clients to take out pensions for example ignoring the fact the client already has a pension elsewhere.

For independent and objective investment advice you need to take the time to meet with a Financial Advisor who can advise on products across the market from all Providers without bias and who will offer you the option of Fee based advice. 


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