Can the government find a way to get us cheap financial advice?

Government review into closing the 'advice gap'


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A major review to improve consumers' access to financial advice has been announced by the Government.

The initiative will examine the "advice gap" for people who do not have significant wealth and ensure that firms are being encouraged to innovate and grow their businesses to include affordable and accessible financial advice.

It will also look at what barriers may be in place that currently put people off seeking financial advice.

The Financial Advice Market Review builds on the Government's pension reforms which have given people a much wider range of choices over what they do with their savings pots when they come to retire. Launched in April, the pension reforms mean that people aged 55 and over are no longer required to buy a retirement income called an annuity with their pension pot.

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

Launching the review, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin, said: "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."

The review will be led by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). An expert advisory panel comprising industry and consumer representatives will be chaired by Nick Prettejohn, chairman of Scottish Widows.

The Government also intends to consult later in the year on how current 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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