Moneysavingexpert founder Martin Lewis says he is a “genuine fan” of independent financial advisers and warns the industry has been “reputationally damaged” by the debate around the RDR.
Speaking at the NAPF conference in Liverpool yesterday, Lewis (pictured) said his website rarely discusses pension issues due to concerns it will be deemed to be providing regulated advice.
He said: “I am genuinely a great fan of IFAs but we have seen them hit back on by the regulator and they will not be allowed to take commission any more. That debate in itself is reputationally damaging for the IFA industry.
“People can come to websites like mine but we do not really talk about pensions because it is a regulated industry, so it is very difficult for us to do so. Because it is regulated IFAs do talk about it, but the commission bias is being removed so it is not clear where people will access financial advice.”
Lewis also warned there is a “monumental” lack of trust in pensions and urged the industry to rethink the way it communicates with people.
He said: “The pensions industry is overly complex and reputationally damaged. I am petrified that many of our populous are going to retire on a cold baked bean supper. The biggest problem is there is a monumental lack of trust in the financial services industry at the moment, and that includes pensions.
“We are finally moving away from the idea that the bank manager is your friend. People are beginning to realise that when you walk into a bank it should not have a massive sign saying ‘adviser’, it should have a massive sign saying ‘salesman’.”