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Government consultation on public financial guidance

A response from the Personal Finance Society

Publication date:

14 February 2017

Last updated:

22 September 2017

Author(s):

Policy and Public Affairs, Keith Richards

Response to the Government's proposals to create a single financial guidance body to deliver unregulated guidance to the public. We make several suggestions, including that this body work with the advice profession to deliver a free Financial Health Check to all adults in the UK.

As a Chartered body working in the public interest, the Personal Finance Society and the wider Chartered Insurance Institute has long supported efforts to improve the public's financial capability:

We agree with the proposals for a single body: we had earlier highlighted our concerns about the complexity of coordinating between two bodies. However

We urge an almost equally important priority to re-establish the confidence and support of the profession: we are disappointed that these services have been the source of such conflict with the sector since 2011;

The Government should stop the wanton use of the "advice" label to describe services that do not involve professional financial advice. This is one of six recommendations we make towards improving this collaboration;

Partnership and collaboration with the sector-not just consultation-must be integral to this new financial capability architecture, and this must be reflected in the single body's core objectives.

Offer a free Financial Health Check session with a qualified financial adviser: such an initiative led by the SFGB/Government in partnership with the financial planning profession would be a practical measure to improve the public's finances and the Personal Finance Society would be willing to assist.

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This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.

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