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Millions of people will benefit from money advice at key times in their lives

14 March 2016

Citizens Advice has responded to the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

The national charity, which deals with around 1.8 million debt and financial issues each year, has highlighted how being able to access money advice at key times in their lives, like buying a home or having a baby, will go a long way in helping people manage their finances.

It has also said that recommendations from the public funded guidance consultation will need to complement these reforms.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The right guidance and advice can be key to a secure financial future.

“Our evidence has found that 23 million people fall into an advice gap at some point in their lives.  

“For too long price has stood in the way of people accessing the advice they need.  The FAMR recommendations to broaden the advice options available, such as paying for advice on specific issues like ISAs and using technology to provide advice, will help to make advice more affordable.

“But cost is not the only barrier, access is also a challenge.  Citizens Advice previously highlighted how a pensions dashboard and being able to get money advice at key stages in life, such as starting university, having a baby or buying a home, would be really beneficial so it is good to see that this has been recommended by the review.

“Getting the balance right between increasing people’s access to advice while making sure they are protected is also vital.  The decision to reject the longstop will give consumers more confidence to pay for advice and provide them with important protections.

“The Financial Advice Market Review has outlined some important steps to help bridge this gap and we look forward to hearing how the review of public funded guidance landscape will support this.”  

Citizens Advice’s report, The Four Advice Gaps, published last year, reveals the number of people who would have used money advice at key stages of their lives had it been available:

●     More than a third (35 per cent) when they start working or change jobs.

●     Over 1 in 4 (28 per cent) when buying a home.

●     37 per cent when going through a divorce or separation.

●     More than 2 in 5 (44 per cent) when seriously ill.

●     38 per cent after a bereavement.

The findings are based on an online YouGov survey of 2,041 adults carried out between 2nd - 5th October 2015.

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.