May 1, 2019 / 1:58 PM / a year ago

Britain reviews market for financial advice

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority has begun a review of whether consumers are getting value for money from financial advice at a time of rapid changes in pensions and other products.

The agency will assess whether changes made since 2012, including the retail distribution review and the financial advice market review, need updating. It will publish its findings in 2020.

“Consumers can struggle to assess the cost of advice and may overpay for services which they do not need,” the FCA said in its consultation paper.

Hugh Savill, director of regulation at the Association of British Insurers, said the advice market is not working for most people.

“The measures proposed in the financial advice market review were supposed to lower costs and narrow the advice gap, but this has not materialised in reality,” Savill said.

Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the nature of financial advice was moving away from a recurring relationship with regular fees to one where people buy advice to address specific issues.

Previous reviews have focused on toughening qualifications for advisors and curbing commissions that create a conflict of interest.

Reporting by Huw Jones

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