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Aegon survey shows that public want cash coaches

Aegon believes the FSA should consider developing new financial advice concepts, including coaches, drop-in centres, personal shoppers and financial superstores as part of its retail distribution review.

The firm has published its latest research aimed at discovering what consumers want from a financial adviser, based on its ongoing 18-month research protect into financial advice.

It has identified consumer needs, including a better understanding of financial products, a separation between advice that improves understanding and advice that helps with purchasing and long-term planning and motivation.

Aegon says it has identified five advice concepts for consumers – a financial guru to give high-quality, personalised financial advice, a financial coach to motivate consumers and keep them committed, a drop-in centre to provide an initial problem-solving service, a personal shopper to simplify the choice available and a financial superstore for those with straightforward needs.

It believes its research demonstrates consumers would respond positively to new models of advice being developed and that the RDR must encourage this.

Head of corporate affairs Francis McGee says: “People looked at support services available in areas of their lives such as fitness and diet and asked, why can’t financial services be more like that?

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says the recommendations increase the number of advice channels to five whereas the RDR initially suggested three before reducing that to two.

He says: “The intention of the RDR was to simplify things but this does not seem to be doing that.

“A drop-in centre is a good idea if it offers impartial, simple, free or subsidised advice. A personal shopper sounds like a multi-tied adviser and the financial guru and financial coach sounds like a financial planner. What Aegon has suggested sounds very much like the initial RDR proposals packaged in a different way.”

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