Barclays financial advisers have today been told that the Bank will no longer be providing financial advice and that their roles will therefore be ending. The reason given by Barclays is that the business of in-person financial planning is not viable. This is in the context of some very bad press and very hefty fine and the industry changes (RDR) being introduced. As a result Barclays will move to an execution-only online service (in other words, D-I-Y finances online).
Whilst many IFAs have long criticised the low quality of advice from Banks and few will be genuinely sorry to see them leave stage right, this does mark a signficant development. In essence, when a massive multinational cannot make sufficient profit and therefore run a sustainable business, this does prompt questions about the way in which financial advisers are being asked (told) to operate.
The sad truth is that those lacking wealth and financial security are the ones most needing to build a future for themselves that means that they are not reliant upon the State benefits. Something that we all probably agree is a key objective. Ironically just as product costs are being more closely scrutinised and reduced, the result is that fewer and fewer people can actually afford decent advice and there will be far fewer providing any from 2013.
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