UK-based Coutts has altered its advice fee structure as part of a strategy to reduce costs for clients.

As a result, clients will now be charged a one-off flat fee depending on their needs at the banks.

Coutts’ new costs

The new structure is separated into two groups:

  • Financial Planning, and
  • Investment Advice.

Financial Planning includes advice across structuring, pensions, estate planning and investment linked protection. No matter the complexity, clients will be charged a one-off flat fee of £5,000 ($6,436) and VAT.

Investment Advice allows access to Coutts funds and portfolio services or investment only advice within established wrappers. This comes at £2,000 and VAT.

For both groups, this is the only charge clients will face and further implementation fees have been removed. Advice charges will only be relevant if circumstances have changed to the extent that the original plan needs to change to meet their needs.

According to the bank, this makes it the lowers charge other than robo-only advisers.

Camilla Stowell, head of wealth management, Coutts, said: “This is the next stage of our strategy of driving down costs for clients. We have been moving in this direction for some time. In 2016 we removed ongoing advice fees as, having reviewed what our clients need we felt they should only be charged if advice plans need to change to meet their needs. We are always looking for ways to simplify many of the processes and requirements to delivering advice and so are now in a position to remove any implementation fee; meaning clients will only pay the one-off fee for our industry-leading advice. Our ambition is to make advice accessible for as many clients as possible. If simply topping up existing plans, for example, clients shouldn’t be charged – it doesn’t add any value for them and has an unnecessary impact on the outcomes they are seeking to achieve.”

James Sayers, financial planning lead, Coutts, added: “We see financial planning the first port of call for anyone. It should be a gateway for to our proposition, rather than a barrier. The amount of people who need or want financial planning but can’t afford it in the UK is vast and this is a step in the right direction for making it more accessible for all and continuing to grow our business.”