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Aifa fears advisers being used as blank cheque for education

Aifa is concerned that advisers will be viewed as a blank cheque to bankroll the Government’s plans for a national financial advice service.

Speaking at the Pave the Way round table, Aifa policy director Andrew Strange said although financial capability is very important, he is worried about advisers being forced to meet the potentially escalating costs of providing financial education to consumers.

He said: “If you look at the funding of the Consumer Financial Education Body, the Government has made a value judgement and withdrawn funding from it, yet the industry has to pay. The industry could end up being seen a blank cheque for these kind of initiatives and that is a big concern.”

Cfeb was set up in April to provide consumers with financial information, education and advice.

Its budget was agreed by the FSA at £45.4m, with £32.9m coming from a levy paid by financial firms and £12.5m from a Treasury grant.

But Cfeb said in November that the £12.5m worth of Government funding had been slashed from its budget. In its 2010/11 business plan, Cfeb says: “The coalition Government believes our funding should come completely from the industry.”

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