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|Tony Langham (Chairman), Karen Barrett (Chief Executive)|
Unbiased is a free-to-use technology platform that connects millions of consumers to financial and legal advisers, including independent financial advisers, mortgage brokers, solicitors and accountants.
It also campaigns to raise awareness of the value of independent financial advice. It was founded in 1989 by 19 financial product providers, to raise the profile of independent financial advice and promote the sale of financial products to consumers via independent financial advisers (IFAs).
Unbiased has the UK's largest selection of professional advisers, and is the most extensively used by consumers. Its search has been described by The Times as the "only database in the UK which lists truly independent financial advisers".
The platform also provides free information, tools and checklists to consumers to help them make their financial and legal decisions.
Unbiased originated as a consumer hotline in 1989 to help consumers find an independent financial adviser (IFA). It was among the first organisations to promote IFAs to consumers and created a badge of ‘independence’ (or roundel) for IFAs to show they offer the highest quality of financial advice.
Online search capabilities were added in 2000. A postcode or regional search was introduced to provide users with a list of registered advisers in their area. Users were also granted the facility to filter their searches by areas of adviser specialism, qualifications, preferred method of payment and other criteria.
The company expanded its service in 2008 by launching a local whole of market mortgage adviser search, and again in 2009 with a local solicitor search. It was revealed that there was “a 25% jump in the number of people contacting advisers for help with a mortgage”. In 2009 unbiased.co.uk added a local solicitor search to its website followed in June 2011 by an accountant search feature. The website was also relaunched with a new hub of tools, calculators and information to help users manage their financial and legal affairs.
In 2015 unbiased began to introduce new features to its search to make it easier to find the right adviser. These included an automated matching service to connect the consumer with a suitable adviser, if the consumer's initially selected adviser(s) happened to be unavailable. Unbiased.co.uk also introduced facilities for advisers to be searchable across wider regions, to reflect those who service larger geographical areas, or who offer advice remotely. In 2016 it published a new mission statement: 'Connecting millions to great advice' and rebranded from 'unbiased.co.uk' to simply 'unbiased'.
The Bluebook and the Media Awards
The Unbiased Bluebook is a media directory of approximately 200 advisers who provide expert commentary and insights for journalists writing on financial and legal topics. The Unbiased Media Awards is an annual event held to recognise outstanding achievement in the media by advisers listed on the Bluebook and by the journalists working with them.
Unbiased has numerous media partners including the Financial Times, Moneywise, the Telegraph, This is Money and The Times. unbiased is listed with various trade bodies, such as AIFA, the AIC and SOLLA. Relevant UK government and regulatory bodies also refer consumers to this service and it is featured on websites such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Directgov, Consumer Direct, Department of Work and Pensions, Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Ombudsman Service, Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Pensions Advisory Service, Pensions Ombudsman, Pensions Regulator and the Pensions Service.
- "login the times". thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-23. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Find an IFA". ft.com. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
- "Find an IFA What is a financial adviser". moneywise.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
- "Find a financial adviser". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
- "Find an independent financial adviser". thisismoney.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-23.