Following the FAMR report, carried out by the FCA and the Treasury earlier this year, the government opened a consultation to look at clarifying guidance and advice. The ultimate intention is to stimulate providers to offer more accessible and affordable support to people wanting help to improve their financial wellbeing.
This consultation has now closed and the Treasury has now said they believe there are 7 important steps to make advice more accessible.
With increasing longevity, the advent of defined contribution pensions, people retiring later, low interest rate environment and uncertain economic times, people now need guidance more than ever and more people will also want to take advice.
Some firms provide guidance as part of their overall financial education and wellbeing services; some also provide this 121 as well as in groups; and others also offer modular advice that focuses on a specific area or need.
This announcement may be a signal of what we may expect as part of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement. But irrespective of that, if these conclusions result in more advice firms developing defined guidance, modular advice and wider and more accessible advice, then this can only be a good thing for the consumer. Helping them to make sense of an increasingly complex financial landscape and providing them with much needed help to make better-informed decisions for their own financial security now and in the future.
From the RDR and the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) to pension freedom, the ability of consumers to access some form of financial advice has been a big focus for both the government and the regulator. FAMR drew a number of conclusions as to how financial advice could be made more affordable and accessible to the public and how the 'advice gap' could be closed through the use of fintech and other forms of innovation. Having distilled all the policies and efforts undertaken by the government and the regulator since FAMR, the Treasury reckons there are seven important ways financial advice is being made more accessible ...