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Major new review to radically improve access to financial advice launched

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The UK’s City Minister, Harriett Baldwin (pictured) has launched a major new review looking at how financial advice could work better for consumers.

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 Financial Advice Market Review will:

• examine the “advice gap” for those people who want to work hard, do the right thing and get on in life but do not have significant wealth

• ensure the regulatory and legislative environment allows and encourages firms to innovate and grow their business models to include affordable and accessible financial advice

• consider ways to encourage people to seek financial advice, addressing unnecessary barriers that currently deter them

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. And 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 says: 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 Economic Secretary launched the UK-wide review while on a two day tour of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s financial services industries.

The review will consider all types of retail financial products including pensions, savings, mortgages, and insurance, and will report ahead of Budget 2016.

The review will be led by HM Treasury and the FCA. An expert advisory panel comprising of industry and consumer voices will be chaired by Nick Prettejohn, Chair of Scottish Widows.

As part of the government’s plan to support working people at all stages of their lives the government 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.

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