LLA: Personal digital finance hub needed

Sarah Davidson

December 14, 2015

Every individual should have a “digital personal financial hub” to aid their engagement with financial institutions and increase financial competency, the Later Life Academy has suggested.

In its responses to both the FCA/HM Treasury’s Financial Advice Market Review and HM Treasury’s Public financial guidance consultation, the training body said more education and access is needed.

Bob Champion, chairman of the Later Life Academy, said: “Action is required around capacity in the marketplace – at present advice is undoubtedly restricted in a number of ways, either via cost, understanding, limited savings, the list goes on.

“We believe a new advice model is required which ties in the government- run initiatives such as PensionWise, broadens their scope of offering, and at the same time sign-posts the private sector advice offering, what can be accessed, how it will benefit individuals, and why they will be better off moving through the guidance/guidance-plus/advice process that the Academy is developing for those requiring later life advice from our members.”

For individuals who are in the period approaching retirement, at retirement or in retirement stages of life, the LLA said it was concerned that advice channels are restricted for those on lower to middle-incomes.

It is looking for a much wider brief and remit for the PensionWise service arguing it should not be restricted to the ‘at retirement’ options but could become the go-to point for all pension issues that arise throughout an individual’s life.

Champion added: “This is a pivotal moment for the ongoing delivery of financial advice in this country, particularly when it comes to individuals preparing for retirement and having the understanding and capability to be able to provide for themselves after work.

“We need to offer a solution which engages far more people than currently access professional advice and by developing and broadening the range of guidance provided, coupled with the services that will soon be available through the Academy itself and our members, we should be able to signpost a much smoother path through this process.”

The FAMR was launched earlier this year to examine how financial advice could work better for consumers.

It will consider the current regulatory and legal framework governing the provision of financial advice and guidance to consumers, and its effectiveness in ensuring all consumers have access to the information, advice and guidance necessary to empower them to make effective decisions about their finances.

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