Progressing the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) in the UK

UK HMT announces ToR for its Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) work-group

 

The Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) was conducted jointly by the HMT and the UK FCA and reported earlier in 2016. This suggested a number of improvements across the area of financial investment and savings related advice and guidance and the availability and access to affordable and better quality services and solutions. The terms of reference now published seeks to set-out the process for progress and collaboration between all stakeholders to push this work forward and into 2017 and beyond. Therefore, future updates on progress and likely outcomes can be reasonably expected to now emerge from the autumn 2016 onwards.

 

Initial work is expected to focus especially on the issues relating to advice and guidance concerning certain products and services related to consumer needs at varying stages of life, such as effective pension savings, investments and income solutions, but also life-assurance and protection, considering pertinent and changing consumer needs as well as potential barriers to effective consumer access and the sourcing and use of sound advice and guidance.

 

The proposed working group to drive this work ahead will comprise selected industry expertise and experience, offering the chance to engage with regulatory and consumer representatives and other stakeholders in shaping the eventual outcome(s). In particular, the working group is directed to consider and take forward three specific aspects from the final FAMR report, namely: to develop with employers a useable support guide and implementation plan to promote, advocate and help deliver financial health for employees; to develop new working terminologies and definitions describing ‘advice’ and ‘guidance’ which could be employed in future industry and regulation standards and practices; and finally to help develop and test methodologies and mechanisms to facilitate increased consumer engagement (and at suitable crucial stages of life) in the proper and effective accessing and use of investment advice and guidance to support their changing needs and circumstances.