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Consumer Council leader says generic advice is not a cure-all

The National Consumer Council says generic advice is in danger of being seen as a cure-all and that it must not become a service for people who would otherwise pay for advice.

Speaking at the Conservative party conference, NCC deputy director of policy Claire Whyley said she welcomed the idea of generic advice in principle but a number of concerns had to be addressed.

She said the Government appears to be loading far too much on to the term “generic advice” and different people have conflicting definitions of what the scheme will do.

She said there is too much focus on getting numbers into the scheme. “You may get 5,000 people but are they the right people? Maybe these are people who would pay for financial advice if there was not this service. Is this really what we want?” she said.

Conservative Shadow Treasury minister David Gauke told delegates that a generic advice service would benefit some but not all the industry and agreed with Whyley that it should not be seen as a total solution.

Gauke said: “Generic advice will be beneficial to some but not all financial services providers. A better informed consumer base would be good for the industry and the economy but generic advice will not cure the UK’s saving problems.”

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