There has been a largely positive response to today’s publication of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) final report into access to affordable financial advice and guidance.
Richard Rowney, managing director for life and pensions at LV=, said: “We’re pleased the government and regulator will take action to address the advice gap. Nearly half a million people retire each year without taking advice and we believe this could lead to a ‘mis-buying’ scandal with people making hugely important financial decisions without adequate support.
“It’s good the review has recognised the current different levels of advice aren’t working for consumers and it is absolutely right to recommend a single definition for advice to end the confusion. We also agree that changes should be made to the retirement advice tax allowance for employers to make advice more affordable and a pensions dashboard will help people have a much better understanding of their financial position at retirement.
“It’s vital that everyone can access affordable, regulated advice to help to make the most of their hard-earned savings, and we expect these changes to be introduced without delay.”
“Royal London welcomes the FAMR report and the call for further consultation particularly on the concept of ‘streamlined advice’,” said Isobel Langton, CEO of Royal London intermediary. “However it is vital for the success of the sweeping changes proposed under FAMR that the sources of ‘streamlined’ advice are impartial and distinct from product providers. Delivered at key decision points in an individual’s life this could be very beneficial for those unable or unwilling to access advice under the current regime.
“Royal London totally supports the need for affordable financial advice throughout the lifetime of consumers. It is vital that the industry works to improve consumer trust and so advice should be not only affordable and accessible, but also totally impartial with the consumer needs at the forefront of every recommendation.
“The call to redefine advice and guidance services is particularly welcome. Royal London has consistently called for a definition of regulated advice which is based on the provision of a personal recommendation. We believe this should be a simple and clear concept that consumers will be able to understand.
“As a leading pensions provider, Royal London is also particularly interested in the suggestions that pension funds might be used to fund advice. Improving incentives for employers to help is likely to be effective for employees and we are willing to work with government and the regulators to help bring this about.
“We also welcome the fact that FAMR recognises the urgent need for a ‘pensions dashboard’ to enable savers, and their advisers, to see their entire pensions savings in one place. But rather than challenging ‘the industry’ to deliver a pensions dashboard, Government and regulators should be collaborating with providers to deliver a viable dashboard.”