On 3 August 2015, HM Treasury announced the launch of a review looking at how financial advice could work better for consumers.  The review will consider the current regulatory and legal framework governing the provision of financial advice and guidance to consumers, and its effectiveness in ensuring that all consumers have access to the information, advice and guidance necessary to enable them to make effective decisions about their finances.

Among other things, the review intends to:

  • Establish a set of principles to govern the operation of financial advice;
  • Propose whether the regulatory perimeter for financial advice should be amended, taking into account European legislation;
  • Consider the proportionality of rules and their impact on affordability and availability of financial advice and products; and
  • Indicate a framework for evaluating how successful reforms have been in closing the advice gap, post-implementation.

Initial work and evidence gathering will be undertaken over the summer with a view to producing a consultation paper in autumn 2015. The consultation will close by the end of 2015 and it is intended that proposals will be published ahead of the 2016 budget.

The terms of reference for the review can be found here.

Further, HM Treasury intends to consult later in 2015 on how the current statutory arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance (including the Money Advice Service (MAS) and Pension Wise) can be made more effective.