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CA wants lower-tier advisers to refer clients to IFAs

The Consumers&#39 Association is to call for three categories of lower-tier financial advisers who refer consumers to IFAs if their needs extend beyond the safe haven products they are allowed to offer.

The watchdog is this week publishing a paper which will call for lower-tier financial advice to be available from local government offices or Citizens&#39 Advice Bureaux, employers or charities as well as the more conventional sources of IFA firms and high-street providers.

Whenever a consumer&#39s financial needs extend beyond the products that the lower-tier adviser would be allowed to sell, the adviser would refer the client to an IFA rather than a high-street bank or direct salesforce.

It is believed that the CA will say that, with its proposals, more consumers will have access to independent advice.

The CA will suggest that up to a third of the compliance requirements could be cut out of the advice process, making the plans more economically attractive to IFA firms. It will say that these lower tiers could be funded through public money or from FSA fines.

Aifa director of policy and technical services Fay Goddard says: “The amount of information given by someone working in a local Government office or Citizens&#39 Advice Bureaux should be strictly limited to information but we do welcome the referral mechanism the CA is suggesting.”


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