Regulation  

FCA says advice important for ageing population

FCA says advice important for ageing population

Advice has an important role to play in meeting the needs of Britain’s ageing population, a Financial Conduct Authority study found

The regulator is putting together an ageing population strategy, which it intends to publish in summer 2017.

In the lead up to this the FCA carried out a consultation and settled on six key areas of focus for its strategy.

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In an update on its strategy the FCA said: “Shifts in demography mean traditional concepts of retirement are changing.

“Products and services will need to adapt to meet the needs of an ageing population.

“Demographic change offers a range of opportunities and challenges that both the industry and regulators need to address for the future.

“With freedom and choice, comes an element of risk and uncertainty, and some of those responding to the discussion paper mentioned the role of advice or guidance in encouraging consumers towards good outcomes.

“Some commented on whether there was a need to improve basic financial capability and budgeting skills in older cohorts.”

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the average life expectancy for children born in 2013 is more than 90 years old.

Meanwhile the number of people aged over 65 already outnumbers those under 16.

The FCA said that with retirement now lasting three decades, services offered by providers and advisers would need to be increasingly flexible.

Since launching this project in February the FCA said it had come across some “encouraging examples” of firms adapting their products and services but said there was more to be done.

The six areas the FCA said it would focus on are long-term care, mortgage lending to older consumers, third-party access, markets with upper age limits, the impact of the ageing mind and engagement with products and services in retail banking.

Tony Larkins, managing director of Cambridgeshire-based Beacon Wealth Management, said: “Obviously you have to take into account a client’s age and you constantly review a client’s situation based on their age and health.

“It is about ongoing planning.”