Former pensions minister Ros Altmann has said that the government is reluctant to make sure people get financial advice because of a “lack of faith in advisers”.
Speaking at Money Marketing’s In Focus conference on pensions and investments this morning, Altmannn said that advisers had been unfairly tarnished by rogues in the profession.
She said: “There’s a reluctance to mandate financial advice because there’s a lack of faith in financial advisers. That is the bottom line. Although the attitude is better, I think underneath it all the government would be worried that people would end up with rogue advisers and come back and complain.
“There are rogues in every industry, in every profession, but that’s not the norm to tarnish the profession with that. I think its wrong.”
Altmann said that the Financial Advice Market Review’s recommendation that consumers should be able to withdraw £500 from their pension early to pay for advice was a “big step forward” but issues like insistent clients had caused government scepticism.
She said: “Do I see the government mandating advice? They were going to mandate for secondary annuity, they have mandated it for defined benefit to defined contribution transfers, so they are some precedents, but even that got tremendous opposition. There were lots of wobbles around the piece, partly because of the insistent client issue. There were lots of people who were mandated to take advice who could not find an adviser to help them and that didn’t help the whole mandatory advice environment.”