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What is the difference between an advisor employed by a bank and an independent financial advisor?

There are two main categories of financial advisors in the Netherlands: the independent, the self-employed on one side and the sales advisor on the other side:

  • The sales advisor: Works for a bank or insurer and only gives advice about their own products.
  • The self-employed, independent: Customer are given advice on the basis of an objective analysis (and therefore comparison of a sufficient number of products). Furthermore, financial products may not be offered by the financial service provider itself or by entities that have close links (for example, the link between a parent company and a subsidiary) with the financial service provider.

Banks tend to be slightly cheaper than the independent professionals. But be aware, the Dutch banks will only sell you their own mortgages. An independent advisor will compare all the more than 60 mortgage lenders. So, they may cost a little more at the start, but it is definitely worth the money as they can get you a much better deal than the so called ‘advisors’ at the big banks.

A choice of one, is not a choice.

Home buyers who take out a new mortgage pay an average 0.67% higher mortgage interest rate at a bank compared to the best offer in the market at the time of taking out. If the mortgage is taken out through an independent advisor, the difference is smaller, namely 0.30%. This is the conclusion of an analysis of several hundred mortgages in a study commissioned by Van Bruggen Adviesgroep that was conducted by Hypotheekonderzoek.nl. The difference of 0.37% between these two distribution channels over an average mortgage amount of € 237.849 for the respondents yields a saving of approximately € 8,000 over a 10-year period if the home buyer opted for an independent consultant instead of a bank. On average, respondents paid almost € 800 less in advice and brokerage costs through the bank compared to independent advisors. This brings the benefit to be achieved with a fixed-rate period of 10 years to around € 7.200. The financial benefit for an annuity mortgage over a mortgage term of 30 years is approximately € 15.000.