Thoresen Review of Generic Financial Advice
The former Economic Secretary to the Treasury appointed Otto Thoresen to carry out a review examining the feasibility of delivering a national approach to generic financial advice. The aim was to ensure greater access to high quality affordable financial advice for those most vulnerable to the consequences of poor financial decision-making.
The Final Report (published 3 March 2008)
This report builds on the interim report published in October 2007, and is based on the evidence, research and analysis undertaken throughout the Review. Here, the Review sets out its final recommendations on designing a national approach to deliver "Money Guidance", formerly described as generic financial advice (GFA).
The documents on this page are available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.
The following annexes provide supporting evidence for the work of the Final Report.
The following organisations and individuals kindly submitted responses to the Thoresen Review call for evidence and Interim Report. These will be available on this web site by 31 March 2008.
To deepen the understanding of the potential for the medium term impact of Money Guidance, the Treasury commissioned a further survey conducted in March-April 2008 (3-6 months after users interacted with the prototype Money Guidance service). This summary report highlights the main findings from this further piece of research.
A total of 84 telephone interviews were successfully conducted, using 154 contact records, between 26th March and 11th April 2008. The modest sample size available for this survey means that its findings should be interpreted as indicative only.
The Interim Report (published 22 October 2007)
The interim report outlines the evidence, research and analysis that the Thoresen Review has undertaken to date. It sets out current thinking and direction, providing an overview for the work that the Review plans to undertake before making final recommendations early in 2008.
We have also produced a consumer-friendly leaflet of the Interim Report and a copy can be found below.
The following annexes provide supporting evidence for the work of the Interim Report.
The Interim Report is available on request in different formats (Braille, audio etc) and in other languages (Welsh etc). Contact the Thoresen Review team for more information.
Consumer pilots will test out elements of a system of generic financial advice and help inform the Review's evidence base. They will be running between 17 September to 17 December and more information can be found at:
Call for Evidence (published 13 March 2007)
In order to ensure the feasibility study's analysis is based on the strongest possible evidence base, we have launched a Call for Evidence. Please download the PDF documents that set out the issues on which we are seeking views.
Speeches and other material
Financial capability: The Government's long-term approach
This document announced the Review and provides a useful background to why the Review has been created (published 15 January 2007)
Otto Thoresen: biography
Otto Thoresen has been Chief Executive of AEGON UK since April 2005. A graduate of Aberdeen University, his career began at Scottish Equitable in 1978 and from 1988 to Abbey Life, Royal Insurance and Royal Life International. He returned to Scottish Equitable, which had by then been acquired by AEGON in August 1994, becoming Finance Director of AEGON UK in 2000. As Chief Executive of the UK business, Thoresen has been an advocate of measures such as financial education and generic advice to help people take responsibility for their finances. He a member of the Financial Services Advisory Board, which oversees the implementation of Scotland's Financial Services Strategy. He is a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Board and chairs its Audit Committee.
Terms of Reference for Review
To determine a range of models for achieving greater access to generic financial advice on a national scale, taking account of future developments in financial services markets and, in particular, personal accounts. To include recommendations on:
- the most effective way of serving different groups of consumers, ensuring effective
- targeting of those most vulnerable to the consequences of poor financial decision-making, including a telephone-based point of contact and the potential for additional face-to-face services;
- protocols for advice, acceptable to industry, the regulator and the third sector;
- accreditation, quality control and the boundary with regulated advice;
- branding, marketing and supporting demand through the development of an appropriate advertising campaign;
- overall costs and assessing long-term benefits;
- options for funding that reflect the benefits to all stakeholders of increasing financial capability over the long term; and
- institutional arrangements and governance.
The Thoresen Review published its final report on 3 March 2008 and is now closed. If you have any questions in relation to the Thoresen Review please contact:
Correspondence Enquiry Unit
1 Horse Guards Road,
Independent Reviews index
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