Pimfa issues recommendations for 'fundamental reform' of advice

Pimfa issues recommendations for 'fundamental reform' of advice
Liz Field, chief executive of PIMFA

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association is lobbying for the reform of advice as the trade body doubled down on its calls to include financial threats in the upcoming Online Safety bill. 

In a policy paper published today (February 1) and titled 'Future of Advice' the adviser trade body made 12 recommendations it hoped would bring about "fundamental reform of, and wider consumer access to, professional financial and investment advice" in the UK. 

The call for action was aimed at the government, regulators and the wider advice industry, with Liz Field, chief executive of Pimfa, stating it was "vital" all stakeholders worked together to achieve change. 

It followed research published by robo-adviser OpenMoney last year which suggested 90 per cent of consumers had never paid for financial advice and 79 per cent of those who had not taken advice had no intention of doing so in the future.

Suggestions from the trade body included greater promotion of the value of advice, the creation of new lower-cost advice services for a wider market and a call on the government to review the definition of advice.

Ms Field warned despite the growing need for financial and investment advice many people still saw it as an "expensive service for the well-off".

She said: "Pimfa believes that access to advice should be an affordable option for everyone in the UK.

"Advice plays a pivotal role in a well-functioning financial services landscape, providing individuals with the support they need to navigate their financial journeys, as well as providing access to products and markets they would not be exposed to otherwise.

"We recognise that none of the recommendations we put forward in our paper can be implemented overnight.

"But if we are to create an industry fit for the future that ensures professional advice for all, it is vital the industry, regulators and government work together."

It came as Pimfa doubled down on its calls to include economic harms in the upcoming Online Safety bill in a bid to protect consumers from the rising trend of financial scams. 

The trade body was among those in the industry calling on the government last year to hold search engines and social media sites accountable for scams and other financial threats which appear on their sites. 

Campaigners warned omitting responsibility for financial harms under the long-awaited Online Safety bill would be a "mistake" which failed to bring internet regulation "into the 21st century".