How (not) to pay for advice: A framework for consumer financial protection
AbstractThis paper investigates the determinants of the compensation structure for brokers who advise customers regarding the suitability of financial products. Our model explains why brokers are commonly compensated indirectly through contingent commissions paid by product providers, even though this compensation structure could lead to biased advice. When customers are wary of the adviser's incentives, contingent commissions can be an effective incentive tool to induce the adviser to learn which specialized product is most suitable for the specific needs of customers. If, instead, customers naively believe they receive unbiased advice, high product prices and correspondingly high commissions become a tool of exploitation. Policy intervention that mandates disclosure of commissions can protect naive consumers and increase welfare. However, prohibiting or capping commissions could have the unintended consequence of stifling the adviser's incentive to acquire information. More vigorous competition benefits consumers and reduces exploitation, but firms have limited incentives to educate naive customers.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.
Volume (Year): 105 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576
Brokers; Financial advisers; Commissions; Consumer financial protection; Disclosure;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Sales Talk, Cancellation Terms, and the Role of Consumer Protection," Working Papers 465, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Agarwal, Vikas & Nada, Vikram & Ray, Sugata, 2013. "Institutional investment and intermediation in the hedge fund industry," CFR Working Papers 13-03, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
- Fehr, Dietmar & Huck, Steffen, 2013. "Who knows It is a game? On rule understanding, strategic awareness and cognitive ability," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-306, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.