Financial advice set to be freeReview will mean easy access to money help

03 March 2008

Money

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A government review has recommended a free national financial advice service.

It’s thought that an independent service such as this would help consumers budget and manage debts more effectively.

Known as Money Guidance, the service would be funded by a levy on the financial services industry.

Impartial

The report, published today, recommends:

  • a national service that would be impartial and sales-free
  • advice that would stop short of recommending specific products
  • a service that would be UK wide and should be available by telephone, face-to-face and online
  • the cost of the service should be split between the government and the financial services industry.

Budgeting

The report's author, Otto Thoresen, said: ‘Money Guidance will help people deal with the money matters that shape their everyday lives.’

He said the service would advise on budgeting, saving and borrowing, insurance and retirement planning.

A survey for the review showed that 75% of people would use the service for personal financial advice.

Which? finance campaigner Phil Jones said: ‘Which? has been campaigning for this service since 2002 and we think it is a big step forward.

‘The evidence in the review demonstrates that there is a real need for it.’

A pilot study will now be set up before any national launch.