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IFAs in pilot scheme to give advice via bureaux

The Citizens&#39 Advice Bureau service is teaming up with IFAs to give generic financial advice to consumers.

IFAs will work in collaboration with nine bureaux to provide clients with independent and impartial advice.

The CAB says, despite the fact that individuals on lower and middle incomes are often most in need of good financial advice, many are reluctant to use advisers because of their inability to afford financial products and a lack of trust.

It is aiming to fill this gap through the link with IFAs.

The £90,000 scheme is funded by Barclays Bank, Sofa and the Tudor Trust. It follows a survey carried out by BMRB Social Research, commissioned by the FSA and CAB.

The survey found that eight out of 10 CAB advisers are asked about financial issues at least fortnightly, with debt and benefits topping the list of enquiries, followed by banking, borrowing and savings.

During a six-month pilot project, IFAs will attend three bureaux on an appointment basis. Another three bureaux will be able to refer consumers to IFAs for external appointments. In the third group, specialist CAB money advisers at three bureaux will provide advice to clients with support from IFAs.

The IFAs will provide pro bono services and clients will not being charged for the sessions. Advice will not be given on individual products.

The CAB will evaluate the project to decide about the future role of bureaux in providing or facilitating the provision of financial advice.

CAB chief executive David Harker says: “This project aims to identify ways to ensure that consumers are better informed and advised on financial issues so they can both find solutions to their problems and better make the financial choices that are best for them and their families.”


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