Who We Are
LowerMyCharges.com is a business that is determined to provide quality financial advice at a low affordable cost, helping you to secure a better financial future.
Our founders, Peter Deane and Ian Brewer, are experienced financial services professionals. After years in the industry, they have recognised that financial advice isn’t always easy to access, isn’t easy to understand and the costs can be confusing, unclear and hard to compare. This gives financial advisors and their companies an unfair advantage – we don’t see this as helpful and ‘advisory’; instead, it’s opaque and make it hard for people to understand what’s best for them.
LowerMyCharges.com aims to help you understand what happens to your money when you receive financial advice, or when fees are deducted from the financial products recommended. Knowing the impact of your decisions now can have a significant impact on the performance of your products in the future, as well as on your financial and personal wellbeing.
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Ian is a multiple award winning, creative and innovative financial advice distribution expert. He has hands on experience in on-line distribution and is a pioneer in remote financial advice distribution
Ian has been responsible for launching several innovative advisory businesses from scratch including First Independent Direct, providing full independent financial advice whilst discounting 50% of the commission for the benefit of the consumer.
Ian is the only person to win the BT (British Telecom) Financial Innovation awards for financial services innovation twice in row and has won many other awards for financial services innovation. Ian also made the top 20 in a worldwide competition hosted by Standard Bank to find disruptive ideas in the Fintech Space and was recently selected to be judge in the Customer Experience Awards 2016.
Ian is passionate about doing the right thing for consumers and is determined to right the many wrongs that continue to bring down the Financial Services Industry.
Peter is an award winning Financial Services Marketer who has worked on some of the most famous brands in the sector.
Peter has championed the consumer throughout his career and has developed a deep understanding of their wants and needs and how, all too often, the Financial Services Industry fails to meet these.
He developed and launched More Th>n, the direct insurer challenger brand from Royal & Sun Alliance that put customers at the heart of its proposition. He also led the marketing teams at the motorists consumer champions The AA and RAC, as well as at the ever popular Churchill Insurance … Oh Yes!
He shares Ian’s passion for doing the right thing for consumers and when Ian approached him with his plans he jumped at the chance to make them happen.
Why We’re Doing This: Ian’s Story
Some 24 years ago I took out a pension. I didn’t pay into it for very long and then pretty much lost track of it until, one day, I received a letter from the Department of Pensions. A certain pension company wanted to get in touch as they had identified me as the owner of the pension plan I had started 24yrs ago.
A few weeks later, I received a pension statement – it was disappointing – the money I had put in hadn’t grown as much as I would have expected considering how long I had held the pension. In fact, it was now worth less than the money I had put in. I thought being a financial adviser, it must have been invested in some poor performing funds, but when I checked further, this wasn’t the case.
The funds had been growing at an average rate of 8% per year for at least 20 years – not bad at all.
So what had gone wrong?
I queried this with the pension company, who bamboozled me with an explanation which – frankly – I didn’t fully understand. Because it was such a small amount, I couldn’t be bothered to argue any further.
Another 12 months passed and a more detailed statement arrived. Once again it hadn’t grown but this time I noticed why. This Pension Company had been charging an annual management charge of 7.75% pa for 24 years.
I couldn’t believe it and I’m a financial adviser – I felt I had been duped!
All Financial Services Companies have an obligation to treat customers fairly (known as TCF). Knowing this, I complained that I had not been treated fairly. An extract from the reply I received is below:
“I appreciate that you do not feel that we have treated you fairly, however, just because you do not agree with the level of annual management charge it does not mean that it is unfair.”
In essence their argument is that they have behaved fairly because they have charged all of our customers an annual management charge of 7.75%.
So they take all the growth over 24 years and they call it fair?
Disappointed, I wanted to transfer the pension elsewhere so that I could reduce the impact of charges. But, as a final insult, they wanted to charge a 50% penalty for giving me the privilege of accessing my own pension!
From this experience, LowerMyCharges.com has been created. My guiding mantra has been ‘if this can happen to me it can happen to anybody’ and I am driven to help you get fair financial advice at a reasonable price.
The financial services industry has made many attempts to address the issue of charges making them more understandable and transparent. Various governments have been encouraging the industry with legislation and consultation groups. But nothing ever seems to really change and we can’t help feeling that too many existing providers either don’t want to change or cannot do so.
We believe that customers should be able to understand the impact that charges for advice can have on the performance of the products that they are investing in if taken from the product. This can help you make an informed choice on whether you are getting value for money for the financial advice you are receiving.
We believe that when you need financial advice you should be treated fairly in an open and transparent way.
Open, transparent and fair, which means more of you money gets invested and less gets lost in charges.
We believe that this approach will allow you to understand the impact of charges on the performance of your investments and will also allow you to make comparisons for the charges that advisers will make when providing advice.
Openness and Transparency
You should be able to see in, an open and transparent way, the charges for the advice you receive, how they are treated and if they are being applied to the product you are investing in.
A True Understanding
You should be able to see, in an open and transparent way, the impact of any charges over time and how they will affect the end value of your Pension or Investment product
Fairness in Fees
You should be charged a low flat rate for the advice you receive, regardless of how much you have to invest. After all, why should you pay more if you have more to invest?
Fundamentally we believe that your money is yours, and when investing it you should keep as much of it as possible.
LowerMyCharges.com has been set up to help you benefit from professional, affordable and clear financial advice. Our aim is to help you understand your financial position clearly and give you the best possible advice to keep your finances healthy and working for you.
- Our solution will be fair, open and transparent.
- No upfront fees and no hourly rates for taking advice.
- Our charges will be low and so the effect that they have on the performance of your investment, pensions or savings will be improved compared to other services. This means you keep more of your money and losing less through charges.
- Our charges are transparent and will be the same for all customers.
- It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have to invest, we will provide access to quality financial advice with a real person when you need it.
- When you become a customer you will benefit from lower charges on your existing pension or investment products straight away.
To find out more and be one of the first to benefit from our solution click here.