FAMR will not solve the advice gap - adviser poll by Royal London suggests
13 April 2016
Following a recent online survey of advisers nearly two thirds (64%) believe that the recommendations in the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) will not help to reduce the advice gap.
The pension advisers polled are those on the frontline, most of who offer impartial advice to consumers. If access to advice improved and became more affordable, as FAMR set out to achieve, these advisers should expect to see more customers using their services. However two-thirds (66%) of those advisers that responded did not believe that the FAMR proposals, as they stand, would improve their business.
The overwhelming finding from the poll is that ‘streamlined advice’ should be impartial, with over three quarters (76%) of respondents agreeing with this statement. Meanwhile, discussions in the industry and media are worryingly focused on banks and providers filling the advice gap with services that are not impartial.
Royal London is a strong supporter of impartial advice and like many of the advisers who responded to the poll, hopes that FAMR transforms the savings market by making impartial advice more affordable and more accessible. The initial feedback from advisers suggests that they do not believe that this is likely to be the case, so clearly more pressure is needed if the final recommendations are to help reduce the impartial advice gap.
Fiona Tait, pension specialist at Royal London, commenting on the findings said:
“Delivered at key stages in an individual’s life, impartial advice has proven its worth again and again. Some consumers, such as high net worth individuals, are well served by access to impartial advice. For others there needs to be a clear distinction between the services offered by impartial advisers and the ‘advice or guidance’ services offered and proposed by some product providers and banks. The positive impact of having access to truly impartial financial advice needs to be better communicated and understood.”
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Notes to editors
The poll of pension advisers using the Royal London dedicated adviser website was conducted online from 21st March 2016 to 31st March 2016 and is based on 138 responses received over that period.
About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with Group funds under management of £84.5 billion. Group businesses provide around 9.1 million policies and employ 2,988 people. (Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2015).