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Press comment: Financial Advice Market Review

03/08/2015

Steven Levin comments on the Government's review, designed to radically improve access to financial advice.

Old Mutual Wealth director Steven Levin says:

Steven Levin“There will be huge benefits for the future prosperity of UK consumers if the Government and financial services industry can work together to create a legislative environment that allows financial planning firms to grow while also encouraging consumers to explore the advantages of taking financial advice.

"According to research conducted in July*, 63% of advisers think it has become harder to be a financial adviser since the Retail Distribution Review was introduced and the vast majority (75%) say the primary reason is the increasing cost of regulation. As a result, just under half (49%) of financial advisers have had to turn away clients looking to access the pension freedoms because it is uneconomical to service them.

"This advice gap is also reflected in consumer research, conducted in partnership with YouGov**.  The figures show cost is the main factor that discourages people from getting financial advice, with 37% of people citing it as a barrier and 31% fearing that they may pay for something that they don’t need.

"We must make sure advice is accessible but we cannot take professional financial advisers for granted. Financial advice is a tightly regulated profession and advisers are subject to rigorous qualification standards  in order to ensure that consumers can depend upon the financial advice they receive being of the highest quality.  

"Unfortunately, few people recognise this. Among those who have not previously taken financial advice, 44% say they are not prepared to pay for advice, a third (33%) say they aren’t sure what kind of fee is appropriate and 15% said they would not be prepared to pay more than £250**.

"Advice does not have to be prohibitively expensive, even for those with modest wealth, but it is important we address this gap in expectations and that people recognise the value of financial advice, not merely the cost.

"For this review to be a success the FCA must engage closely with advisers as well as consumers. Where it is uneconomical for financial planners to advise consumers the cause must be examined and a solution found.”

*Old Mutual Wealth Adviser Insight Survey conducted in July 2015 with 251 UK financial advisers.

**Old Mutual Wealth Attitudes to Advice survey conducted with YouGov in July 2015 with 1425 consumers age 35+

For more information contact:

Michael GlenisterOld Mutual Wealth 0207 7789 638 07469144535

Notes to editors:

Quilter is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

On a ‘go forward basis’, Quilter oversees £ 111.6 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset and single strategy investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Old Mutual Wealth’s multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter businesses will be re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years following separation from Old Mutual:

  • Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning
  • Private Client Advisers to Quilter Private Client Advisers
  • The Multi-Asset business to Quilter Investors
  • The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions
  • The International business to become Quilter International
  • The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance
  • Quilter Cheviot will retain its name.

On 19 December 2017, Old Mutual Wealth announced that it has agreed to sell its Single Strategy asset management business to the Single Strategy Management team and funds managed by TA Associates. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

Quilter is part of Old Mutual plc, a FTSE 100 group that provides investment, savings, insurance and banking. For the year ended 31 December 2017, Old Mutual reported an adjusted operating profit before tax of £2.0 billion. For further information on Old Mutual plc and the underlying businesses, please visit the corporate website at www.oldmutualplc.com.

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