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CA calling for lower-tier advice network

The Consumers&#39 Association has this week issued details of its campaign to extend the availability of financial advice to consumers, which would see those with complex needs being referred to an IFA.

As reported in last week&#39s Money Marketing, the consumer champion is calling for the creation of a National Finance Advice Network which would operate for the needs of lower earners.

Its lower-tier advisers would be based in Citizens&#39 Advice Bureaux, local Government offices, charities and the workplace, as well as mainstream retail financial organisations such as IFAs and high-street providers.

A key plank to the proposals is that any time a consumer&#39s needs extend beyond the basic services offered by the lower-tier adviser, they would be obliged to refer the client to an IFA rather than a bank or direct salesman.

The CA believes that the Government should provide funding to get the network off the ground.

The CA&#39s campaign coincides with its publication of research showing that the two main reasons why lower earners do not save are because they cannot afford to do so or are baffled by financial products.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the CA&#39s survey admitted they do not save as much as they need to secure a comfortable future.

The CA briefing paper says: “The National Financial Advice Network is a network of access points and delivery channels where consumers can get consumer-focused, quality, face-to-face financial advice from a new type of adviser called a general financial planner.”

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