Cash spent on soon-to-be scrapped government guidance body the Money Advice Service would have paid to more than a million and a half hours of face-to-face time with financial advisors Bristol.
Weighted against the average financial adviser rate, the cost of the Money Advice Service online money guidance service could have instead bought an hour full regulated financial advice each for 1.6m people.
With Deloitte research from 2012 putting the size of the advice gap, those who need financial advice but can’t afford it at 5.5m people, that would have meant 30 per cent of those in need talking to an adviser about their finances.
Launched in 2011 and binned in the March Budget in favour of a “slimmed down’ service, analysis by Financial Adviser showed six years of the Money Advice Service online financial “advice” partly paid for by advisers levies cost a total of £243.6m.
Several industry figures including Keith Richards, Chief Executive of the Personal Finance Society, have suggested an advice voucher system as an alternative to industry paid-for government initiatives such as the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise. Paying advisers would also have meant consumers would have had regulated tailored advice.
Mr Richards said: “Advisers have an important have an important ongoing role to play in bridging the information gap, but unless a voucher scheme is introduced it remains a less clearly defined process and will differ from firm to firm.”
Since 2011/12 the Money Advice Service has generated 67m “contracts” through its website, telephone, face-to-face and webchat services, but this figure includes those who have contacted the service more than once as well as those who received both debt and money advice.
Over the course of the Money Advice Services’ life-time, the annual running costs of the financial advice service ranged from £32.9m in 2010/2011 to a peak of £46.2, in 2012/2013.
When it was first established in 2010/11, the Consumer Financial Education Body as the Money Advice Service was then known had an initial budget of £32.9m.
(FTAdviser, March 2016, Damian Fantato)
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About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of independent financial advisors/financial advisers (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol. We provide independent financial advice, including pension advice, investment advice, inheritance tax planning and protection/insurance advice.