unbiased.co.uk highlights the need to address consumer ‘guidance confusion’ in its response to the Treasury

12 May 2014

•    The attributes of regulated advice feature highly in consumers’ understanding of what the government’s ‘guidance guarantee’ will mean
•    Nearly one in five UK consumers would want a meeting with a professional financial adviser to be included under the guidance guarantee
•    Almost two thirds of consumers say more needs to be done to help the public find whole of market financial advice
•    unbiased.co.uk urges the Treasury to be clear about the meaning of guidance and to provide a clear path to regulated advice for consumers  
unbiased.co.uk, the find an adviser search website, highlights the need for the Treasury to address UK consumers’ ‘guidance confusion’ when putting together its guidance guarantee scheme announced by the Chancellor in the Budget.
unbiased.co.uk has conducted exclusive consumer research which clearly shows consumers are attributing characteristics of regulated financial advice to their understanding of what guidance guarantee means. While ‘a general overview’ and ‘basic information’ feature in the top five attributes, the remaining three are features of regulated advice.  

The government announced in the Budget that it was looking to provide all people at retirement with a ‘guidance guarantee’. What do you think this pre-retirement guidance guarantee would deliver to you?


 A general overview of retirement options available (21%)


 Basic information on retirement planning (21%)


Advice on my retirement planning (16%)


 Advice on what retirement income option is right for me (13%)


 A guarantee that what I’m being told is right for me and my situation (11%)

When asked what they would want included in a guidance guarantee, 29% of consumers said a guarantee that what they are being told is right for them, while a quarter (25%) would want a general overview of the retirement options available and 24% would include specific advice on which retirement option is right for them.  Furthermore, 18% would want a meeting with a professional financial adviser at the government’s expense.
unbiased.co.uk’s research also highlights that the UK public values whole of market financial advice and the benefits it can add to their retirement planning.  Almost two thirds (63%) of consumers say that more needs to be done to help the general public find a whole of market adviser to help plan their retirement.  unbiased.co.uk will be discussing the Treasury consultation in coming weeks with politicians and others.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk comments:
“We are at a pivotal time in UK financial services, with a real chance to tackle how consumers address their at-retirement choices once and for all.  For the first time, the concept of ‘guidance’ has moved to centre stage, clearly emphasising that consumers need more support to make the right decisions for their post-retirement finances.
“Our worry, borne out by our consumer research, is that the word ‘guidance’ in the consumer’s mind actually means ‘advice’ – a distinction that the industry is very clear on, but one that is less familiar to consumers. Only whole of market advice can deliver the best outcomes, in a helpful, unbiased and accountable way – all of which are attributes consumers seek.
“We are calling on the government to be clearer about what they mean by ‘guidance’ and we will be discussing this with them in coming weeks in advance of the consultation deadline.”
unbiased.co.uk has a long-standing track record in putting consumers in contact with whole of market advisers. Its ‘find an adviser’ search profiles more than 24,000 advisers.  The search on the unbiased.co.uk website and over 60 white label versions of the search across industry, product provider and media sites, receives over one million unique users annually.  Retirement planning advice has always been the most frequently requested advice area and unbiased.co.uk deals with over 120,000 specific retirement advice queries every year.
For a free and confidential search for a whole of market financial adviser, visit www.unbiased.co.uk.
Notes to editors:
Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 29th April to 2nd May 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. www.opinium.co.uk
For more information contact:
Emily Falla / Kate Aitchison: 020 7294 3682
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About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website:
unbiased.co.uk is the UK's most comprehensive free professional adviser search website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better informed financial and legal decisions. We not only help consumers and businesses find the best adviser for their needs from 24,000 IFAs, financial advisers, mortgage advisers, solicitors and accountants listed on our search, but we also help them research the market by providing relevant information and tools.  At unbiased.co.uk we are transparent about what we do and provide the easiest way for consumers to find and compare advisers meeting their requirements.
The unbiased.co.uk website launched in 1998 and rapidly became the UK’s leading online destination for consumers and businesses looking to find an adviser.  Now attracting over one million visitors a year, unbiased.co.uk is the default adviser directory for consumer websites recommending their audience to ‘find an adviser’.
unbiased.co.uk has launched a new industry-facing website for the adviser community at business.unbiased.co.uk.  
Unbiased Ltd promotes the benefits of financial and legal advice to consumers and businesses and would like to thank the following companies for their support:

Alliance Trust NS&I
Aviva Opinium Research
AXA Wealth Prudential
Bright Grey Royal London 360°
Canada Life Ltd Santander Asset Management
Legal & General Schroders
Lockton Scottish Life
MetLife Standard Life Assurance Limited
NEST Zurich Intermediary Group

Unbiased Ltd - Registered Office: 12-14 Berry St, London, EC1V 0AU.  Registered in England: No. 06775878.

Category: Financial Planning Tagged: guidance guarantee, The Budget

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