MAS adviser directory nears 6,500 registrations

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The Money Advice Service’s retirement adviser directory is approaching 6,500 registered advisers, the latest data shows.

128 new advisers registered for the directory between April and September, taking the total number to 6,477.

3,595 advice firms are now listed on the directory after 74 new firm registrations over the period.

MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes tells Money Marketing: “It’s almost impossible to say what potential it could go up to. We are pretty pleased with the number we have got, but the important thing is not the number, its the coverage across the UK that customers can get face-to-face advice and coverage from the perspective of being able to provide enough advice to people with smaller and moderate pension pots.”

“The limit is going to be on the number of IFAs dealing with people on moderate to smaller pension pots. I certainly think we will be looking to expand the directory, but we are never going to get every financial adviser on there.”

There were 45,366 visitors to the directory between April and September, 7,196 of which clicked on an adviser’s contact details. MAS is unable to collect data on how many of these sought financial advice however.

Rookes says: “Financial advice is essential for some people, not for everybody but obviously for the world of pensions there’s a critical need, and even outside pensions for some people there’s a need for regulated financial advice. I think the job of the guidance services is to ensure people understand when they need the regulated advice and to facilitate it for them, to give them help to actually get it.”

MAS first consulted on launching the directory in 2014, bringing it to life in April 2015 to coincide with the pension freedoms.

The original directory included 4,500 advisers from 1,200 firms, but anomalies were found in some results, for example when advisers worked from home not their head office or when local firms said they wrote less business in particular areas.

The directory allows users to search for face-to-face, telephone or online advice based on their postcode. Advisers can list specialities including pensions, paying for care, equity release, inheritance tax planning, and wills and probate.

MAS directory advisers must be regulated and be able to “choose from a wide range of providers.”

The MAS directory is listed on the Pension Wise side for individuals looking to choose a financial adviser.