Good written records are important to evidence the discussions that took place with a customer and the advice given. Equally the Suitability Letter should support the reasons ‘why’ a product and features have been recommended. We often see words such as ‘you wanted’, ‘you chose’ in letters putting the onus on the customer. Whilst the customer has an opinion and preference to what they want the Advisers role is to obtain the circumstances of the customer and then advise what they feel is suitable and right for that customer.
Where Advisers give good advice, which is personal to the customer, then these discussions should be noted so it is clear that advice has been given. So, if you do provide advice and have finished writing your Suitability Letter ask yourself, does it say what you have recommended and why. Think about what ‘good advice’ you gave and make sure that you let the customer know in your letter. Whilst they may remember your conversation and why you recommended something today, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will remember in 5, 10 or 25 years from now.