CompaniesDec 30 2015

Apfa claims their manifesto prompted FAMR

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Apfa claims their manifesto prompted FAMR

As 2015 ends, Chris Hannant, director general at the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, has looked back over the past year for FTAdviser.

Mr Hannant said it had been an eventful year for financial advisers, with pension freedom the most notable change and the most notable development being the launch of the government’s Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

Advisers saw increased volumes of enquiries for help with pensions – Apfa estimated that up to July 150,000 calls were made about financial advice from advisers.

However, given the rushed nature of the reform, Mr Hannant said it wasn’t perfect.

He said more can be done to promote use of Pension Wise and for Pension Wise to promote the need for financial advice.

As a result of pension freedom there was some noise in the media about access to advice, an issue which Apfa highlighted in April’s Manifesto for Financial Advice, which Mr Hannant said in his view was why the government launched the review of the financial advice market.

He said: “This is an opportunity to ensure we get the framework for giving advice right to enable a thriving future market, where taking advice becomes the norm. A challenge for the coming year for Apfa will be to get the review to address the problems that make advice costly to deliver.

“Compensation and liability associated with advice are some of the chief reasons for making advice more expensive. The increase in the size of Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies highlighted the need for reform of the way money is raised for compensation.

“Apfa has recently published its call for a sustainable model to prevent compensation draining the ability of firms to invest in the future or further increasing the cost of advice, and so making access harder still.”