3rd August 2015
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin has launched a new review in a bid to dramatically improve consumers’ access to financial advice.
The Financial Advice Market Review will examine how financial advice could work better for consumers, building on the government’s pension reforms, which have allowed people real choice and freedom over their savings and given them access to free and impartial guidance.
The review will consider all types of retail financial products including pensions, savings, mortgages, and insurance, and will report ahead of Budget 2016.
The Financial Advice Market Review will:
The government urged that ensuring the UK’s financial services industry works in the interests of consumers and supports working people at every stage of their lives “is at the heart of the government’s long term plan”.
A key part of this is making sure that people can access high quality, affordable, tailored advice and guidance to help them make informed financial decisions.
Baldwin said: “Making sure that our financial services sector supports working people at every stage of their lives is a key part of our long term plan.
“That’s why we’ve launched a major new review to explore what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money.”
The review will be led by HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority. An advisory panel comprising of industry and consumer voices will be chaired by Nick Prettejohn, chair of Scottish Widows.
As part of the its plan to support working people at all stages of their lives the government said it also intends to consult later in the year on how the current statutory arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance (including the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise) can be made more effective.
Responding to the government’s announcement Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said: “This is a welcome step which comes at a good time. The new pension freedoms have highlighted how important it is that proper advice is accessible to all, not just those that can afford it. This review will naturally take time, so in the short term we want to see steps taken to address the more immediate issues outlined in our action plan in June.”