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TPAS holds talks with PICA and MAS over adviser directories

The Pensions Advisory Service has held talks with both the Pension Income Choice Association and the Money Advice Service as the battle of the adviser directories intensifies.

The development of a comprehensive directory of retirement advisers and brokers is seen by the industry as key in supporting Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget guidance guarantee.

After the Treasury chose TPAS and Citizens Advice to deliver the guidance, MAS confirmed it was creating a directory “to make it easier for people to find a regulated adviser, if they need one”.

TPAS has held talks with both PICA – which launched an adviser directory in November 2013 – and MAS about referring guidance customers to their respective directories. The MAS directory has not yet been built.

A TPAS spokeswoman says the organisation “doesn’t want a proliferation of directories” but that it is ultimately up to the Treasury which directory will be used by the organisations delivering the guidance guarantee.

TPAS is understood to be leading discussions with policymakers on the directories and feeding information back to Citizens Advice, which in October was confirmed as the Government’s choice to deliver face-to-face guidance from April next year.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research and PICA chairman Tom McPhail says: “The PICA directory is the most likely solution. Having said that what we have designed predates the Budget.

“The PICA directory makes the most sense – it is built and it is non-commercial. You could question why anyone would want to build another one.

“MAS wants to spend advisers’ money building another one that’s up to them.”

MAS launched a consultation on the design of its directory in June this year. In August, the organisation said it was considering expanding the service to include all advisers and not just retirement specialists.

A Treasury spokeswoman says no decision has yet been made on which directory the guidance will link to.

The MAS was unavailable for comment.


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “MAS launched a consultation on the design of its directory in June this year” at no doubt vast expense, give me £200 and I’ll quite happily do it, in fact lets do it for free. Use the one Pica has designed, or better still pay unbiased a licence fee for their software and use theirs.

  2. Well, its a real feeding frenzy for the bureaucrats, isn’t it? Fingers-crossed that HM Treasury spot the value of PICA, unbiased et al and instruct MAS where to get off.

    On a lighter note, when so many directories are already available, and when the good people of TPAS and CAB are preferred to the supposedly dedicated MAS, you really have to question the ethics and integrity of somebody like the Evil Rookes Woman who continues to squander £millions of levy-payers money for no reason other than to justify her own existence. If the FCA were at all consistent with their ‘fit & proper’ test, they would issue a prohibition order against her to send a message [NB And for anyone interested in the legalities here, yes they can].

  3. Am I being stupid or is this non advisory organisations all talking amongst themselves about these things rather than involving the representatives of people who actually ADVISE, i.e. PFS, APFA, IFS or IFP?

  4. @ Philip
    There is a very good reason for this ! those who actually advise are “NOT” free !

    Yes some may offer a free initial consultation (I don’t) but if anything further than that, will be charged.

  5. @DH Is this a directory of free guidance providers or a directory of people regulated and authorised to give financial advice?

    If it is the latter surely the FCA can just had a list of authorised firms to someone and say here you go. Why MAS has to spend months and millions coming up with something that already exists is beyond me.

  6. Surely FCA register would be the most current source of information on regulated firms? Add searchable fields for postcode and indicating if the firm offers retirement advice?

  7. These people will always find ways to justify their existences . All firms that appear on the FCA register that do retirement business are clearly marked, what more do you need ?

  8. To me this is so very simple. Why is the FCA not responsible as they should know who is regulated and who is not. Save millions of pounds and hours. They alone should be offering a directory of regulated firms and advisers that the consumer can trust. Lets face it they should have this information to hand.

    I know, its far to simple, makes good sense, would not cost additional millions, jobs and is practical, so it will never happen. Why, because if someone received poor advice the regulator might be seen as responsible.

  9. @Paul Woolley – I agree, people should be encouraged to go to the FS register and ensure the adviser is authorized and regulated and working within their permissions as well as checking for disciplinary issues and the FS register should link to FOS complaints about the firm and it’s advisers. The FS register should be improved and made more consumer friendly rather than yet another new register being raised otherwise what happens when the MAS register says someone is able to give pension advice and the FS register doesn’t?

  10. Anyone know an investigative journalist that might be able to ask and pursue the question – “why isn’t the FCA register being used/adapted for this purpose?”

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