The Government is under pressure to radically scale back the financial guidance services it offers to the public to slash costs and simplify the system for consumers.
The Treasury is currently consulting on how public financial guidance should be structured and funded. The consultation is running alongside the Financial Advice Market review.
In its response, Apfa calls for the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise to be merged.
It says Pension Wise is currently providing poor value for money, and points to figures recently published by the Government which show each guidance appointment costs almost £500.
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “There is a growing confusion around financial guidance that needs addressing. We believe that the organisations providing public financial guidance should be merged and the resulting entity needs to work better with other providers of information, guidance and advice in educating consumers regarding the options available to them.’
“At the moment, the public financial guidance provision is fragmented and low public awareness could in part be caused by the existence of multiple entities and confusion around what they all do’.
“Public financial guidance should have a triage approach, channelling consumers towards the level of guidance or advice that they need and can afford. It should also ensure that it delivers good value for money by not duplicating services.”