Minister admits more needs to be done on advice access

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Minister admits more needs to be done on advice access

Treasury minister Andrew Griffith has admitted "further progress needs to be made" on increasing the uptake of financial advice.

He was responding to a letter which had been sent to HM Treasury as part of FTAdviser's Promote your Profession campaign.

Griffith said: "Encouraging the provision of financial advice to a wider cohort of consumers is a long-standing government objective which I believe has the potential to improve the long-term financial wellbeing of many households across the UK.

"The uptake of financial advice has improved in recent years, but the government recognises that further progress needs to be made.

"Therefore, I was pleased to outline the government’s intention to work closely with the FCA on a review of the regulatory boundary between advice and guidance which the chancellor reiterated in the recent Edinburgh Reforms announcement.

"This review will seek to improve access to helpful support, information, and advice, while maintaining strong protections for consumers."

Griffith was responding to a letter which had been sent to the Treasury by Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney, after one of her constituents - a financial adviser - contacted her as part of FTAdviser's campaign.

Marco Turrent, director and financial planner at Richmond-based Journey Invest, wrote to Olney after FTAdviser created a template letter for you to use and send to your constituency MP.

The letter template calls on the MP to address the issues of disproportionate fees and levies, a regulatory system that does not support entrepreneurial advisers and their clients, and the need for better financial education. 

Griffith said: "HM Treasury works closely with the FCA, as the independent regulator of the financial advice market, with the aim that the market works well, competitively, and fairly for both firms and consumers and that the advice being provided is of high quality.

"It is important that the FCA should continually strive to identify opportunities to make sure regulation is proportionate across the financial sector."

Addressing the issue of FCA and FSCS fees and levies, he said the Treasury set the legal framework for this but had "strictly limited powers" in relation to the regulators.

The Promote your Profession campaign, which aims to bring advisers, planners, paraplanners and brokers together to share best practice and encourage collaboration to boost the profession, launched earlier this month.

The aims are fourfold: 

  • To provide a forum where readers can share best practice and ideas for showcasing the professionalism of financial advice.
  • To bring expert commentary and insights from experienced professionals on building successful advisory businesses.
  • To promote ways to encourage school and college leavers to consider financial advice as an attractive, long-term career.
  • To lobby parliament and the Treasury to consider the importance of entrepreneurial financial services companies in the UK's post-Brexit regulatory framework.