Hargreaves Lansdown has welcomed proposals from the Treasury this week aimed at making it simpler and cheaper for consumers to get help, guidance and advice with their savings and investments.
The Treasury proposals are a response to concerns among financial advisers about what legally constitutes financial advice. The uncertainty was seen to be inhibiting advisors, thereby denying individual investors the best possible advice. Investors have typically indicated that most of the time they are unwilling to pay more than around £200 for advice.
The Treasury is now consulting on amending the definition of regulated advice in Article 53 of the existing Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (RAO), to bring it in line with the EU definition set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). This would mean that only advice that makes a personal recommendation would be regulated.
Tom McPhail, Head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “This is fantastic news for savers and investors. Not everyone wants to pay an adviser for personal financial advice but millions of ordinary people do simply want a little help to do the right thing and save for their future.
“The Retail Distribution Review raised standards, banned commission and did much to protect investors, but in the process it also disenfranchised millions, leaving them unable to get any help at all. Investor protection should always be a high priority; however if it means that millions of people end up worse off because they can’t get the simple help they need to make good decisions and build their wealth, then it has gone too far. The recent work by the Treasury and the FCA (the FAMR review) is now redressing the balance.”