Advisers have hit out at the FSA for hindering attempts to develop simplified advice.
Chairing a panel debate at the Money Marketing Retirement Summit, Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid said the regulator had been territorial in its attempts to hinder the Personal Finance Society’s pro bono work with the Citizens Advice Bureau over the last two years.
He said: “You would not believe the number of fights we had with the regulator to do pro bono, it tried to block us at every corner because it saw that type of advice as its patch. The theory of generic simplified advice is great and I hope it can work but until everyone works collectively, it is very difficult to see this process going forward.”
The Ideas Lab director Roderic Rennison said the simplified advice process has not developed due to “a matter of attitude at the FSA” and because of “significant determination” on the part of banks. He said: “The banks are campaigning for QCF level three because I gather they cannot see that QCF level-four-paid advisers will get them to the bottom line.”
Scottish Widows senior financial planning manager Steve Meredith warned that the UK faces “a big black hole” when it comes to simple pension advice. He said: “I hope we have a lot more simplicity in the future to help people cope but it is going to be a mess unless we find a solution.”