The Personal Finance Society is set to expand the MoneyPlan initiative run in partnership with Citizens Advice, with an increasing number of financial advisers looking to take part in the programme.
Initially rolled out to 50 local Citizens Advice charities last year, the service is now offered at more than 100 services in the network across England and Wales, where professionally qualified advisers volunteer their expertise by providing generic financial advice for free.
The service is now set to expand, with close to 170 advisers having registered an interest in participating in the programme and being partnered with a growing network of Citizens Advice charities.
The Personal Finance Society is also investigating the potential to expand a similar pro bono advice initiative into Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards said MoneyPlan had been introduced at the right time for UK consumers, who are often “confused and baffled” by the complexities of financial planning.
He said: “The government and regulator, through the Financial Advice Market Review, are currently considering ways to increase access to financial advice in recognition that people need guidance more than ever before.
“Our members have shown they are keen to give something back to the community, and a growing number of volunteers are improving access for consumers across the country.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Getting the right guidance can pave the way to financial security.
“With the MoneyPlan service set to expand, more people will be able make the most of the link between the money advice we offer and the generic financial advice of qualified MoneyPlan volunteers.”
Richards said MoneyPlan formed an important part of the financial advice profession’s pro bono initiative, and urged more financial advisers to participate.
“Pro bono work is a key feature of most professions and an important part of our ongoing campaign to build trust among consumers and consumer organisations,” he said.
“I would also like to thank specialist insurer Partnership, which continues to provide important financial support to Citizens Advice’s operational management of the MoneyPlan initiative.”