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Axa CEO says generic advice should scare people into making decisions

Axa chief executive Paul Evans says generic advice will be ineffectual if it is only an information service and says consumers have to be pushed into making decisions about products.

Axa has published the results of a financial research study which found that consumers are more likely to make the most of the advice given to them if they are persuaded to make a decision.

Evans says: “If it is just an information giver then psychologically that means very few people will take action and decisions. The FSA seems to be against the word persuasion but people have to be pushed. You have to scare people if you want them to take decisions.”

The life office says people need explanation, encouragement and the option to act at the moment they are given advice if their long term behaviour is going to change.

Evans has suggested that there should be a referral process between generic and primary advice to ensure the consumer is not lost once they have joined the system.

Axa has shared its findings with Aegon chief executive Otto Thoresen who is heading up the Thoresen Review into generic advice.

Evans says: “If generic advice is only an information giver its value is at risk of being diminished. Otto understands and recognises our concerns. Marketing the service will also be key. It needs to appeal to those who cannot be bothered.”

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