ABI backs our savings campaign

The Association of British Insurers has backed Money Marketing’s Pave the Way to Save campaign in Parliament.

Money Marketing recently launched the campaign which began with a call for the Government to give the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority a statutory objective to increase savings rates and protection levels.

During a Treasury select committee evidence session last week, Conservative MP for Macclesfield David Ruffley asked ABI director of financial regulation and taxation Peter Vipond if he supports the campaign.

Ruffley said: “Money Marketing has launched a new campaign, Pave the Way to Save. Should the CPMA have a statutory objective to encourage people to save?” Vipond responded: “As part of the CPMA’s work, it does need to have an obligation to support and promote savings.”

Ruffley also asked Vipond what he thought of Treasury fin-ancial secretary Mark Hoban’s view that such a move would set up the new regulator to fail.

Vipond said conduct of business rules need to be reconsidered to overcome the problem of people not saving enough for their long-term well being.

Investment Management Association chief executive Richard Saunders said it would be “nice” for the CPMA to act in a way that encourages saving but such an objective is not entirely within its remit.

He said: “A lot of the levers for encouraging saving actually sit with the Government.”

Vipond and Saunders said that while consumer education is laudable, it is unlikely to produce short-term benefits.

Saunders told the committee: “Auto-enrolment and Nest will have a positive impact when people start receiving statements saying they have £15,000 or whatever in their savings. That will grab their attention in a way that any number of well meaning consumer leaflets will not.”

Moneysavingexpert.com founder Martin Lewis has also backed Pave the Way to Save in an evidence session with the Treasury select committee this week.

Lewis said: “Should the CPMA have a statutory remit to encourage people to save? Yes, as long as you count saving in the wider context of reducing debt.”

Money Marketing’s campaign to create a better savings culture calls for the CPMA to have a statutory objective to “have regard” for the need to increase savings and protection rates alongside a list of secondary objectives that fall under its primary objective of ensuring confidence in financial services and markets. The call has been supported by a big number of IFAs and providers.

The campaign will also be looking to facilitate debate about the broader role of Government in encouraging a better savings culture and what more the industry can do to persuade people of the value of decent advice and the need to save more and protect themselves and their families.