14 March 2016 – Today the HM Treasury of the UK and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a report that sets out the findings of the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).
The report contains 28 recommendations aimed at tackling barriers for consumers accessing advice. The recommendations deal with the following areas in relation to financial advice: i) affordability; 2) accessibility; and 3) liabilities and consumer protection.
FAMR was launched in August 2015 in light of concerns that the advice market is not working well for all consumers. The FAMR highlights not all consumers can afford access to the advice they need at a price they are willing to pay.
The report states: ‘The market currently delivers high-quality solutions to those who can afford advice. However, not everyone wants or needs a personal recommendation in respect of every decision, nor do they always need a comprehensive assessment of all of their financial circumstances and requirements.’
According to the report, firms offering services that help consumers making investment decisions without a personal recommendation as well as firms offering ‘streamlined advice’ on a limited range of consumer should receive guidance from the FCA. At the moment there is little clarity on the regulatory responsibilities associated with these services. This acts as a barrier from firms that would like to provide them.