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Experian mulls guidance

Experian mulls guidance

Experian is considering becoming a financial services version of Amazon.

The credit-checking company said it was considering offering a service which would include financial guidance.

Richard Howells, recently appointed head of wealth, life and pensions at Experian, said he was in talks with providers about creating a financial services one-stop-shop.

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Mr Howells, who was previously UK retail sales director of Zurich, said Experian was still unsure about whether it would launch its own financial comparison and guidance website, or whether it would produce the technology to offer these services and allow others to white-label it.

He said: “Consumers need a trusted source of information, they need a source of guidance.

“They have had a bit of information and just need to go that step further. Can somebody, if I put information in, give me an idea if I’m heading in the right direction?

“For some customers that [guidance] will be enough. They will know what they want to do and go and buy that Isa with that company. Others may want to compare and see who else does this. Others may feel this is all too much, and want a bit of advice.

“Is there currently a place where you can go to get all of that? The answer is no. We could have the capability to build that for the market or for people in the market.

“We have invited people to come and have that conversation with us. We have had a number of calls from people who are interested.”

Mr Howells, also the former marketing director of Bankhall, said the difference Experian would bring to launching this type of proposition was the experience of dealing with customers in a digital fashion, and delivering value.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of IFA promotion service Unbiased, said anything that helped people to engage with their finances was generally a positive thing.

She added: “It is encouraging that this service is recognising the need for independent advice as part of its offering, as this is the only way consumers can be sure they are making the best choices for themselves.”

But Ms Barrett said the big question would be how well the service matched consumers to the right advice and service for them.

Mr Howells said Experian has also launched a service for financial advisers which maps an adviser’s client bank against data the credit checker has for those individuals. When asked how much Experian would charge, Mr Howells said it would be bespoke.