Treasury economic secretary Andrea Leadsom has warned insurers against setting up “copycat” guidance services after the Government announced delivery of the service would be handed to independent organisations.
The Treasury’s original consultation, published in March, asked whether providers could be given a role in the new guidance service without risking its impartiality.
Yesterday, the Government confirmed the guidance will not be delivered by providers, though the ABI is pressing policymakers to keep the issue under review.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Leadsom says providers should not consider setting up their own guidance schemes.
She says: “We will be very keen to ensure that the guidance under the guarantee is very clearly branded and becomes a trusted name.
“What we do not want is copycat schemes pushing people down one road or other – we certainly do not wish to see that. This is very clearly designed to be impartial and helpful to people making plans for their retirement, so just like in any other walk of life what you don’t want is poor imitations or vested interests jumping in there and trying to get in between the impartial guidance and the retiring person.”
Despite this and opposition in consultation responses to provider involvement, Leadsom refuses to rule out a role for the industry in future
“At the moment we do not intend to allow product providers to be part of guidance,” she says. “You never rule anything out for the future but the very clear feedback from consultation was people felt the guidance needed to be delivered by impartial organisations and having insurers in the mix would not provide a credible impartial service.”