Someone authorised by the PIA and qualified by experience and examination to provide financial advice, who is not working for any single product provider company.
In theory these intermediates should look at the entire financial market before making a selection and offer unbiased advice and access to all suitable financial products. They sometimes still have access to special deals not on offer elsewhere because they may subscribe to a mortgage panel along with other advisers and brokers. Together they convince lenders to provide special packages in return for their continued custom. The only trouble is that they have to deliver a certain level of business over a year to remain on the panel so they may favour some products over others.
A financial adviser who is not employed by a particular company to market their products. They may be paid by commission, which in our view amounts to a conflict of interest, or else by agreed fee. We like to call these people Independent Financial Advisers (salespeople). See Personal Investment Authority and Mis-Selling.