In its latest white paper – Changing fortunes: setting guidelines for financial well-being – the company claims that consumers are making three main errors in their personal finances and that improving attitudes in this area cannot fall solely on IFAs.
It is calling for a Government-backed awareness campaign with an education programme guiding consumers to the proposed Money Guidance service or regulated advice through an IFA.
Head of UK retail sales Jasper Berens says pressures on the industry have forced advisers to focus on the highest income-earners to sustain business.
He says: “This means equipping people with the basic tools for self-diagnosis of their financial solutions will become more essential, not less. An awareness campaign setting out good financial planning should create a push-through process that tackles the obvious inertia across consumers generally. This raising of the bar can only be good news for the IFA community.”
The firm says the three main errors made by consumers are a lack of awareness of the value of investing compared with saving, a misconception of what investors actually need for retirement and the fact that people’s savings are being negated by paying off debt.
It suggests a “five a day” plan to help consumers set their financial priorities. This would include arranging life/income insurance, rainy-day cash funds, paying off debt, setting up an Isa/pension and reviewing an individual’s financial position.