Every working adult in the UK would be offered a voucher for a
financial health check session with a professional financial
adviser, under a proposal developed by the Personal Finance
On Tuesday, the Society wrote to the relevant Ministers
including the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary
of State for Work & Pensions, highlighting the public interest
proposal and calling for the Government to work with the Society to
take the initiative forward.
The idea featured as a core recommendation in the Society's
response to the Government's public financial guidance review
consultation, submitted last week.
The Society suggests the proposed single financial guidance body
could build on work already undertaken by the Society and the
personal finance profession more broadly. Many financial advisers
offer a no obligation introductory session to their clients, and
hundreds more currently volunteer their time and expertise to
deliver free guidance sessions through the Society's MoneyPlan
initiative, run in collaboration with Citizens Advice.
The new guidance body could play a leading role in branding,
facilitating and overseeing the initiative, in cooperation with
government departments including the Department for Work &
Pensions. The Society could also help by creating a subset of its
existing and highly successful yourmoney accredited directory, and
directing consumers to participating advisers in their area.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards said:
"The need for consumers to have access to financial advice is
greater than ever, and we believe that this initiative offers a
practical solution to bridging the current advice gap and getting
consumers who need advice in front of a qualified
"A Government voucher scheme would give many who have never
thought of professional advice a first-hand experience of its value
and would demonstrate a real commitment by the new guidance body to
collaborate with the personal finance profession to achieve
workable outcomes in the public interest."
"Many advisers are already delivering introductory financial
advice sessions to consumers at their own expense and a voucher to
cover the cost of a qualified guidance session would increase
access and protect the interests of more consumers against poor
planning and scams."
"Our experience, and specifically our MoneyPlan initiative, has
shown that professional financial advisers are eager to offer their
services to consumers in need of financial advice."
Designed to be holistic in its nature, a financial health check
session could be offered to consumers at a time in their working
lives when they are best placed to develop a long-term course of
action for achieving their financial and life goals. Participating
advisers could deduct a proportion of the cost of each session from
their next FCA levy, based on a rate per redeemed voucher
The sessions would be delivered by telephone or face-to-face,
and would result in a summary of options that might include full
financial advice where the need is evident.
Visit the Personal Finance Society website to view its full
submission to the Treasury's public financial guidance review