Treasury Seeks Better Money Advice For Consumers

The Treasury has started a major review of the way financial firms and IFAs give advice to consumers.

The aim is to open access for everyone to have personal, affordable and professional advice when they want to make important financial decisions.

The review will run until later this year and report to Chancellor George Osborne to make any announcements about changes in Budget 2016.

The review will cover all consumer financial services, such as pensions, savings, mortgages, and insurance.

Cost of financial help

The main concern is many less wealthy consumers are missing out on good financial advice because of the cost or do not know where to find free help.

Simple advice about managing a £30,000 pension pot can cost up to £3,000 from some IFAS, while the government’s Pension Wise service offers similar advice for free.

Harriett Baldwin, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “The government wants to make sure that consumers make the best financial decisions throughout their lives and that the financial services industry is structured in such a way to make this happen.

“This is a cornerstone of the government’s economic plan.

“We will also look at how free advice can be better delivered as part of the review later in the year.”

Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide

Bogus adviser alerts on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site:

  • No reports this week

Warnings about bogus advisers – UK

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site has these warnings this week:

  • Lamberg Kapital Ltd
  • CFE Bourse (Clone web site)
  • VGF Wealth Management (Clone web site)
  • Umoru Ali
  • Repayment Management UK Ltd t/a Repayment Management Services

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

Reporting a suspected bogus adviser

Find out how to report unauthorised advisers on the FCA web site