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ABITime to improve consumer access to simple and effective financial advice

The ABI has today launched proposals designed to give more consumers better access to simple and affordable financial advice.


The policy paper, ‘Increasing consumer access to advice,' reaffirms the ABI's support for the aims of the FSA's Retail Distribution Review (RDR). It also warns of the real danger that the RDR may end up restricting consumer access to advice, and calls for the introduction of a simplified advice process.


Maggie Craig, the ABI's Director of Life & Savings, said:


"Every consumer should have access to affordable, credible financial advice. We know consumers prefer to get advice when buying financial products, yet our research shows that full advice costs £670 in total, and is beyond the reach of two-thirds of the UK adult population.


"While there are barriers to providing simplified advice, they can and must be overcome. We look forward to continuing to work with the FSA to help firms develop these simplified advice services and offer them to consumers."


Research featured in the paper also shows that consumers want simplified advice that delivers good outcomes. The potential benefits of this include:


·        Faster and more affordable advice for consumers with straightforward needs who are unable to access full financial advice.  A simplified advice process could provide a personal recommendation in just 30-45 minutes

·        The process is automated and IT driven allowing it to be offered via the internet, over the phone or face-to-face using facilitators to guide consumers through the pre-determined questions.


The ABI and insurance industry has developed guiding principles on how a simplified advice process could work.  At the policy paper's launch, the ABI also expressed its willingness to work with the FSA and other stakeholders on taking its proposals forward.


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Last updated 01/07/2016