A long-awaited report in the financial advice market, which was published last month, may not help to improve access to advice after all, a notable City investment company said today.
A survey conducted by Royal London discovered that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of advisers believe the recommendations in the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) and HM Treasury's joint Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) will not help to close the advice gap, despite this being one of the key aims of the study.
A similar proportion (66 per cent) of the independent advisers surveyed did not believe that the advice contained in the report would help to improve their business.
"Delivered at key stages in an individual's life, impartial advice has proven its worth again and again," said Fiona Tait, pension specialist at Royal London. "Some consumers, such as high net worth individuals, are well served by access to impartial advice.
"For others there needs to be a clear distinction between the services offered by impartial advisers and the 'advice or guidance' services offered and proposed by some product providers and banks. The positive impact of having access to truly impartial financial advice needs to be better communicated and understood."
The review, which was co-chaired by Charles Roxburgh, director general of financial services at HM Treasury and Tracey McDermott, acting chief executive of the FCA, aimed to improve access to the financial advice market so that people could get the help they needed at important lifestages.
"This review has taken place against the backdrop of social and demographic changes which have led to an increasing need for individuals to take more responsibility for their own financial future," said McDermott at the time. "But we know that people often find it difficult to engage with financial matters and we need to make it easier for them to do so."