Apfa launches advice manifesto

Apfa launches advice manifesto

Apfa has launched a manifesto calling for more to be done to ensure all consumers can better access financial advice.

It makes a number of recommendations to the government, regulator and the financial advice industry ahead of May’s general election.

One of its recommendations calls for a stable policy environment for advice, savings and pensions following an “unprecedented” period of change.

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Apfa director general Chris Hannant also said regulatory costs and reporting requirements should be reduced, including the creation of a simplified FCA handbook.

He said: “Over recent years, we’ve seen an advice gap widen, with the numbers of advisers falling and cost of financial advice rising, putting it out of the reach of many.”

The 11-page Manifesto for Advice reiterated Apfa’s long-held call for a long stop to prevent cases from being taken to Fos once 15 years have passed.

Recent research conducted on behalf of Apfa found that different regulatory costs and low awareness of the value of financial advice were the biggest issues affecting their business today.

Mr Hannant said: “Policymakers must do their part by ensuring a stable environment and a reduced regulatory burden to help bring down costs and give room for the financial advice industry to innovate.

“There is an onus on the industry, which must bring new, lower cost services to market that better suit the needs of customers today and in the future.”

Adviser view

Matt Harris, director of Fife-based Dalbeath Financial Planning, said: “I agree that regulatory costs can stifle new entrants to the business and make it difficult for someone to join the industry.

“The advice industry has not covered itself in glory because before the retail distribution review you had commission, which led to scandals such as Arch Cru, so we need to prove we consistently give good value advice in the consumer’s interests and then ask the government to cheerlead for us.”