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Financially excluded plea for basic advice

The financially excluded want more advice and education on financial services, according to research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The report, called Tackling financial exclusion, carried out by researchers at Bristol University, found a high level of distrust of financial services firms.

However, those asked said they liked the Post Office&#39s Universal Banking proposals and, even though they wanted to save, they said they were uninterested in pensions and mortgages.

According to the research, 7 per cent of the population, or 1.5 million households, do not have any financial products. Another 4.4 million households are described as being on the margins of financial services.

Bristol University Personal Finance Research Centre res-earcher Sharon Collard says: “Our research showed that people felt quite gullible when dealing with financial services companies. They wanted an independent source of advice and information about the range of financial products. People also wanted advice on basic day-to-day money management issues. There was deep distrust of financial services companies, with quite a lot of negative information in circulation. People were just too young, too poor or too old to be interested in pensions.”

Aifa director of policy and technical services Fay Goddard says: “IFAs would be well placed to give unbiased advise, including on wider issues as many have a good knowledge of state benefit systems and a holistic approach to money management. We have been in preliminary discussions on this front.”

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