Consumers using decision trees and IFAs using their knowledge reach exactly the same conclusion over the best stakeholder for them, according to an FSA pilot test.
Speaking Money Marketing's stakeholder conference, FSA policy offier Keith Matthews unveiled findings from FSA market research which compared a panel of 40 consumers drawn from different social backgrounds with a panel of industry experts.
According to Matthews, when the consumer recommendations were compared with the panel of IFAs and product providers “the vast majority arrived at the same conclusion as the panel”.
And intermediaries fear the results leave a question mark over the role of the IFA when stakeholder is launched next year.
The research was designed to see if draft decision trees meet the requirements of consumers deciding if a stakeholder is the right choice and both panels were asked to work through draft trees and information packs.
Torquil Clark pensions development manager Thomas McPhail says: “These results cuts to the heart of what we're selling. The findings are certainly indicative of Government and DSS thinking to educate and empower the population at large. Advisers will be forced to concentrate on high net worth individuals.”
Adviser Gee & Company managing director Philippa Gee says: “If you are an IFA who provides simple quotes or simple pensions advice you need to look at your business and assess where you will be going in the future.
“There will always be a need for IFAs, but it will be for people with either more complex needs or those needing financial nannying.”
But FSA spokesperson Jackie Blyth says: “There will still be plenty of room for IFA to help those people who don't know what they need, and for the firms that need to set up the schemes.”