Otto Thoresen has asked the industry to provide evidence on five key questions feeding into his review on generic financial advice.
Thoresen, chief executive of Aegon UK, has launched a 16-page ‘call for evidence’ asking for feedback on the best ways to implement a national advice system which will be available to everyone in the UK.
The document splits the focus of the Thoresen Review into two parts: strategic issues - such as wider government policy and the regulatory framework, and operational issues - which covers which channels should be used to deliver the service including internet, telephone or face-to-face.
In the consultation, which closes on 27 April, Thoresen and his team are asking for evidence to answer five key questions - which are the same for both the strategic and operational areas:
- What is happening today, how and to whom?
- What should the scope of a national approach to generic financial advice be?
- Costs and funding
- How can potential users be engaged?
- What should the governance of the service look like?
The document says the questions aim to get to the “nuts and bolts” of delivering a generic financial advice network, including the costs and benefits of such a service, how people can be motivated to take an interest in their finances and who should be responsible for overseeing the new service.
Thoresen says the call for evidence reflects the practical nature of the project, as the views and information submitted on all aspects of advice provision will provide valuable material for the review and allow the team to build its own evidence base on how best to create the new service.
Following the current data gathering and evidence phase, the project will move onto the next stage of analysis, development and initial testing before it moves into its final recommendations.
Thoresen says he is particularly looking for “insights and experience of running an advice system to the public, to enable us to learn from others and develop a solution based on practical evidence”.
As a result a reference group has been set up to advise Thoresen as the review progresses, which consists of 14 members made up of organisations as diverse as the Financial Services Authority (FSA), NHS Direct, Sesame, Which?, Barclays, and the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
He points out it is very important to have secured the expertise and commitment of such a broad cross section of organisations from pubic, private and voluntary sector to work on the reference group for the review.
Thoresen adds: “From the financial sector, having the support of major institutions, including banks as well as financial adviser groups will bring important retail experience to the table.”
“I look forward to continuing to lead this review as we gather and analyse the data we receive to develop a blueprint for how a national approach to generic financial advice might work in practice.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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