Know Your Rights

The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) aims to protect customers from investment advice that is not sound and/or sub-standard financial planning products and services that are marketed in a manner that is not in the best interests of the client. This Act outlines what constitutes advice and the qualifications required of advisers in order to render advice for specific investments.

The provisions of the Act stipulate that all advisers have to meet stringent requirements with regard to integrity, demonstrated knowledge and experience. Advisers are also required to undertake ongoing education in respect of financial services and products.

Under FAIS your adviser needs to:

  • Conduct a needs analysis which will take in to account: your age, your income, your dependants, your goals.
  • Protect your best interests.
  • Complete the Contact Stage Disclosures, which include, but are not limited to: clarifying the services he is able to provide; confirming his relationship with Old Mutual; and defining the service he is able to provide to you; based on the needs expressed.
  • Provide you with information to make informed decisions.
  • Disclose commission and administration charges upfront.
  • Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your investment.
  • Provide you with all documentation within 30 days.

Advisers may only give advice if they are licensed as, or represent, a licensed financial services provider. Advisers that have been licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) have met the requirements stipulated by the provisions of this Act and are qualified to provide you with investment advice. An adviser needs to make full disclosures in terms of fees & charges, tax implications, restrictions and exclusions.

However it is up to you to ensure that your adviser is registered with the required authorities. Don’t sign any blank forms.

It also says that in order to offer someone financial services or advice you also need to be a properly authorised financial services provider who is qualified to sell or offer advice on a specific type of product.

For example: An adviser may be qualified to sell a funeral plan that is a fairly simple product but not necessarily be qualified to sell retirement products or conduct financial planning with a client. FAIS outlines the different levels of training required for specific financial product as well as the type of refresher training required for each product.

Under FAIS a financial services provider needs to be fit and proper, which means of sound moral standing.

All of Old Mutual South Africa's (Old Mutual SA) investment businesses are accredited under FAIS. The following businesses are governed by the requirements of Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act and are Licensed Financial Services Providers:


Advisers who give bad advice are held accountable. If you feel you have a valid complaint, please follow the process as outlined on our Customer Complaints page.

Download: Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act