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Citizens Advice and PFS in pro bono advice tie-up

The Personal Finance Society is set to offer financial advice on a pro bono basis at over 100 Citizens Advice Bureaux across the country.

Money Marketing understands discussions about delivery of the project are in the final stages, with a formal roll-out set to take place later this year.

Branded ‘Moneyplan’, funding for the project is still in the process of being signed off but is expected to come from a private-sector sponsor.

The funding package will include professional indemnity cover for advisers that volunteer as part of the scheme.

PFS chief executive Keith Richards says the plans were being discussed prior to the Government’s Budget commitment to a guidance guarantee for all retirees from April 2015.

The project was first piloted between 2007 and 2009. It ran across 30 CAB offices with over 1,100 consumers receiving advice and a further 2,400 getting generic financial information.

A report on the pilot in 2009 says 72 per cent of people using Moneyplan were aged over 50 and a third were over 65. Almost two-thirds of enquiries related to advice on mortgages or pensions.

Richards says: “This is an important part of our campaign to build trust and awareness of the value of professional advice among consumers and consumer organisations and puts professional advice at the forefront of delivering valuable local community services.

“In the context of the recent Budget pension changes and the Government’s commitment to a guidance guarantee Moneyplan is an existing, proven and valued model.

“We were working with Citizens Advice on plans to enhance access and availability across the UK, long before the Chancellor’s Budget announcement, and this forms part of our wider public interest initiatives.”

Citizens Advice said it could not comment further until funding for the project had been finalised.


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Rt Hon Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling 8th August 2014 at 8:56 am

    As a local councillor, I have successfully stopped our councils’levy to Citizen’s Advice (CAB) . On the basis that they ( CAB) have a final salary pension scheme. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay for advice.

  2. How will advisers get paid

  3. It looks like the Right Honorourable Arthur Sreeb-Greebing is unaware of the Full Facts which does not defer or prevent his imposition and his decision to make such a Stupid Comment. He has failed to grasp there are many other costs ( One being the imposition of Tax and Double Taxation – and the NEw National Insurance Tax on Employers and Employees Auto Enrolment ). Clearly the Right Honourable wot not is unaware that in Financial Plannign knowledge and skill along with experience is required to look after finances – and demonstrate how each area of finace Affects another area and their interaction. Perhaps the Right Honourable Wot NOT coulds spend his time more productively . . .rather than spurious ill conceived comments. This is what I call the . . Incompetent running the Incontinent . . . .

  4. #’How will advisers get paid’?

    Clearly the term ‘volunteer’ is one which has passed you by…

    I tried to volunteer through cab a few years ago. The bureaucracy was such it proved impractical. Impressed that the pfs has managed to get through to them

  5. I don’t think advisers will get paid ~ the idea seems to be that we should give yet more of our time and money for the greater good of those who either can’t or don’t want to pay for advice/guidance. There’ll be no filtration of the latter from the former.

    About once a week I already spend time giving not-charged-for advice to people who phone up out of the blue or to existing clients. And, like most of my colleagues, I bear the costs of my initial consultations with prospective new clients.

    I run a business, not a free advice service funded by charitable donations or government subsidies or levies on other people’s businesses.

  6. Julian, there’s nothing compulsory about this one. Your time is yours to donate or not as you wish and the funding is coming from private sources – not PFS subscriptions.
    This is part of an overall initiative to assist those advisers who do wish to offer pro-bono support. And PI will be provided too (a frequent concern of those engaged in pro-bono work).
    Pro-bono work is a feature of many other professions and it is generally seen as part of a professional body’s public interest role to encourage it.
    Increasing the visibility of the pro-bono work which so many advisers already undertake should also help to build public confidence in the profession.

  7. I would like to point out that i believe this is a positive move for our profession. I accept there are individuals who will not pay for advice but there are also many others who would benefit from our valuable knowledge and experience who simply cannot afford professional financial advice. This is where i believe we as professional financial planners can actually make a difference to peoples lives.

    I also appreciate some advisers already do voluntary/pro bono advice work and that is great. This initiative will give access to more advisers who wish to get involved in structured pro bono work which will only enhance our reputation and the profession of financial planning.

    I look forward to helping in some way to enhance our profession and to help some individuals along the way!

  8. Corby Macdonald 8th August 2014 at 10:47 am

    I for myself am a volunteer business mentor for the Governments National Enterprise Scheme. I help take unemployed people who have a business idea and help them get started. I teach them about business plans, help them to understand them, to write them and get to a stage that they are supported financially via the scheme for the first six months so that they can get their business off of the ground.
    I give my time gladly because I know I am making a difference to somebody’s life and obviously the advisers that will help in this scheme will be doing so as well. Sometimes its good to give back when the only reward is the fact that you have helped someone achieve their dreams, its worth more than any financial consideration.

  9. Service to the community has always been at the heart of local people – helping out in charity events assisting where possible – using skills and knowledge to assist – and help within the community. Personal rewards and personal satisfaction are high. I offer my services as a Governor of a local school for handicapped children. I have learned a lot from the way they work – they way they interact – and the joy on the faces of the children – will live with me forever. The commitment of those teachers and everyone involved – is the true commitment . . . .It is not all about Money . . Money is only the means by which we keep count . . . Being helpful being ethical – operating in the clients interest first, most and last . . .
    Like CPD . . .set aside time is crucial . . . .helping others . . . .is beneficial to everyone involved . . and the experience will change your life forever. Get involved . . . .Be committed . . . . working with people can be so rewarding . . . .

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