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Major review of financial advice market launched

A major review into the availability of affordable financial advice for all consumers has been launched by HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Financial Advice Market Review will gather examples of problems consumers have faced obtaining advice for mortgages and equity release, general insurance, investments and pensions and savings products.

The review, helmed by Tracey McDermott, acting CEO of the FCA, will look at the barriers which put consumers off looking for financial advice and the obstacles they face once they have a made a decision to seek help. Regulatory constraints which may hamper firms’ ability to provide advice will also be examined and where needed greater clarity on existing regulations will be given to firms to allow them to innovate and grow their services.

Economic secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said: “Making sure that our financial services sector supports working people at every stage of their lives is a key part of our long-term plan.

“That’s why we’ve launched a major new review to explore what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money.”

The team will collect evidence from each area of the retail financial services sector over the summer with a consultation on the findings expected in autumn. A finalised proposal will be issued ahead of the Budget next year.

The government also intends to consult later in the year on how the current statutory arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance, including the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise, can be made more effective.

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