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Advice scheme is welcomed

Brokers have welcomed the government’s move to introduce a free financial advice service, saying it is likely to help boost their profits.

The positive response from brokers follows news that the government hopes to provide generic financial advice within six years, primarily aimed at people on modest incomes.

The government says the service will be aimed at ensuring that every person in the country – including those on the lowest incomes – can get quick and simple access to good financial advice.

Brokers contacted by Mortgage Strategy endorse the idea of the service and say the government’s aim of making individuals more financially savvy will benefit their businesses.

Andrew Montlake, partner at Cobalt Capital, says: “The more know-ledge people have, the easier it makes our job. Once they have information it will encourage them to shop around for advice.”

Sole broker Roy New says: “In the longer term this could prompt people to save more to buy property and that would be beneficial for brokers.”

David Holling-worth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says: “How can you argue against offering free advice? This is a strong message that getting professional advice is the way to go.”

The idea has also been endorsed by Citizens Advice and the Association of British Insurers. The government has set up a task force headed by Otto Thoresen, chief executive of AEGON UK, and hopes to see the service up and running by 2013.

l See Analysis, page 42

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