Essentially, what Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Newby is saying is that regulation is killing financial advice, which is true.
I doubt that anyone will want to be an IFA in future unless business conditions improve significantly and we will eventually die out for all but the very rich.
However, if the regulatory burden were reduced in line with the risk that we pose, then our businesses could flourish. We are the firms that can offer that online electronic advice and do it better than anyone else.
I cannot see how it can ever be “free”, although regulators could allow it to appear to be if they wish to promote saving in the mass market.
If the savings gap is to be reduced, then advice needs to be low cost and readily available. The FSA/CPMA need to think carefully about the burden that they impose.