PFS asks Chancellor for FAMR II

Hannah Godfrey reports

The Personal Finance Society (PFS) has written to the Chancellor calling for a second Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

The professional body said it has written to new Chancellor Rishi Sunak because FAMR recognised there was an advice gap that needed to be filled, but five years on many of the issues identified as limiting the supply of financial advice have remained unsolved, and in some cases have become worse.

PFS chief executive Keith Richards said: “The government has already acknowledged that there is an advice gap and the public needs help in sorting out their financial future, which was why there was a FAMR.

“We need a FAMR II because many of the problems identified by FAMR haven’t been solved and many of the issues are actually worse. Both funding of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and professional indemnity insurance (PII) were included in the first review and was the first of the 22 workstreams to be prioritised.

“FAMR simply didn’t go far enough to address the core issue, which is blatantly evident to see in the current climate.”

He continued: “Having already proposed a potential solution to address the issues surrounding both PII and FSCS, the PFS is calling on government to also introduce tax incentives for employers to engage professional advisers to offer their employees workplace financial guidance sessions and seminars.

“This would have a relatively small impact on HM Treasury but potentially be a massive benefit for the public.”

Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority asked for feedback from advice firms on how it should approach its review of the Retail Distribution Review and FAMR. As part of that, it asked firms whether FAMR had caused unintended harm to consumers.