Thoresen believes Money Guidance and other financial capability initiatives will give people greater confidence in dealing with money matters and increase the numbers seeking professional financial advice. However, if Money Guidance is to succeed and flourish, Thoresen says the advice sector must be widened to meet the increased demand.
Speaking at a Resolution Foundation conference on financial education, Thoresen underlined the need for financial education and guidance at a time of economic upheaval when people are trying to make sense of the world around them and what it means for their family and their finances. He said: “Some might say financial capability and financial education are a luxury in these times of economic crisis but I believe they are more important than ever. And when the economy starts to recover Money Guidance will be vital in helping people make the right decisions for the future.
AEGON believes the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review proposals promise significant improvements for the ‘haves’, who currently use the financial advice sector, but does little to widen access to advice for the ‘could haves’.
Thoresen urged the government, in its forthcoming White Paper on financial services, to build on existing reforms and increase access to professional advice, making it available to the mass market. Otherwise Thoresen is concerned people won’t get access to the products and services that are right for them and that they need. He said: “The Government, FSA and we in the industry must do all we can to make sure there is access for the mass market to be able to get the products and services that are right for them and that they need.”