Govt and FCA launch review to boost access to advice

The Government and the FCA have launched a much-anticipated review of the advice market aimed at improving access to advice.

The Financial Advice Market Review will explore what kind of support consumers want access to, whether any advice gaps exist, how they can be closed, and what role technology such as robo-advice could play.

There will also be a separate consultation on the role of publicly-funded guidance, including Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service.

The review was first announced in August and the consultation will run to 22 December.

A final paper is expected to be published ahead of the 2016 Budget.

The review is being jointly led by FCA acting chief executive Tracey McDermott and Treasury director general of financial services Charles Roxburgh.

City minister Harriett Baldwin says: “Helping hard working people achieve their aspirations at every stage of their lives is at the heart of our long-term plan.

“A key part of that is making sure people can access high quality, affordable, tailored advice and guidance to help them make informed financial decisions, whether that is saving for their first home, taking out a mortgage, buying a car, or saving and investing for the future.

“That’s why we’re exploring 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.”

McDermott adds: “The financial decisions people make can have long-reaching effects. It is important the market provides accessible and affordable advice when people need it.

“The review is a chance for the FCA, Government, industry and consumers to work together to ensure we can deliver a market that meets this need.”

The review will also take input from an expert advisory panel chaired by former Scottish Widows Nick Prettejohn, which will include 12 to 15 industry experts from financial services providers, advisers and consumer representatives.