RQ Certified

A stamp of approval for the best Financial Advisers and Planning firms

Philippa Hann
September 5, 2023
Philippa Hann

I help clients recover compensation when they suffer loss because of bad financial advice – sometimes those clients are multimillionaires, and sometimes they are groups of everyday working people like you and me.

Millionaire or not, if I had a pound for every time a client of mine said to me – “I trusted him, he was my adviser, I should have asked more questions.” …well, I’d be a few thousand pounds better off.

Bad advice happens in every profession sometimes, but the risks can be greater for the financial sector.

The nature of financial advice opens the door to potentially more significant financial losses, and the financial sector’s professional indemnity requirements mean there isn’t always insurance to cover the losses when it does go wrong.

There is a reason the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the financial sector’s fund of last resort) paid out £584m according to the latest annual report (compare this with the SRA Compensation Fund, which paid out £27m – the differences between the funds are nuanced but the amounts are stark).

For the average Joanne on the street (or in an office), it is really hard to tell which are the good advisers and which are not.

And after 20 years working alongside the financial sector, I can assure you that some are excellent and others are not.

Financial advisers have nothing akin to our Lexcel kitemark, nothing to prove to the outside world that they go the extra mile, that they care deeply about governance and that their client remains at the centre of what they do.

I have pursued plenty of Chartered advisers (never, interestingly, a Certified financial adviser – but who amongst the general public knows the difference?).

What would it be like, if those advisers who chose to go the extra mile had a badge?  If you could tell them a mile off – would you choose them?

That's why we launched the RQ Certified badge as a way to help great advisers and planners get the stamp of approval that they deserve.

Learn more about the RQ badge on or website, and look out for it on Financial Planning firms' websites.

As always, you can contact me for more information.

Philippa Hann
RQ Adviser

Philippa is a Managing Director of Clarke Willmott and a Partner in the Financial Services Litigation team. She specialises in investment product mis-selling claims and negligent investment advice. Philippa holds the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

Philippa is a member of the Chartered Institute of Insurers (CII) and is regularly a guest speaker for both the CII and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. She is also a regular contributor for BBC Radio Bristol.