Consumer services

MM View: As Liz Truss goes bankrupt, can financial services also seize the moment?

Michael Klimes – Artwork by Dan Murrell

Something big happened just before this number Money Marketing went to press, as new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng presented a “mini-budget” that turned out to be huge. With this act, he demonstrated a classic British tradition: understatement.

In a single speech, Kwarteng introduced the biggest tax cut in decades, reversed the rise in National Insurance contributions and reduced corporation tax.

All the hardships people are going through convince me that advisors have never been more important

It is part of the government’s growth plan of more than 30 measures that aim to tackle high energy bills, reduce inflation and cut taxes, all aimed at bringing about an economic recovery.

The overall aim of the Liz Truss regime is to bankrupt on growth (some suggest the UK may actually go bankrupt as a result of her plans), based on the argument that economic growth has been anemic for too long. The government believes it must seize the opportunity and be bold.

Our cover story was written in this context and asks if these pressures can become an opportunity to do something different. Specifically, to clean up the data mess in financial services.

On the surface, data is about numbers, but that’s just the tip of an iceberg of broader themes in financial markets, namely consumer protection, financial regulation and inclusion.

Many believe the FCA will need to be more prescriptive about the data it requires from advisers

There are massive projects underway that could improve data in financial services – like the Pensions Dashboard, the upcoming Consumer Duty and two other pieces of legislation.

The legislation includes the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill and the Financial Services and Markets Bill. If these two elements are executed well, consumers and advisors will reap enormous benefits. But the course is not easy and is strewn with tripwires.

Some of the people quoted in the article believe the stars have aligned to clean up data in financial services. Others are skeptical of the promise of regulatory and policy initiatives to dramatically change the dial on data.

When it comes to the consumer requirement, many believe the FCA will need to be more prescriptive about the data it requires from advisers.

The difficult context brings me to another subject: the Money Marketing Awards which were recently held. We celebrated the best of the consulting profession on September 29 at etc.venues in Houndsditch.

The government believes it must seize the opportunity and be bold

It was a pleasure to see the smiles of the winners as they took the stage for their place in the limelight.

All recipients have worked extremely hard to be where they are.

And all the difficulties that many people are going through convince me that financial advisors have never been more important.

So keep up the good work!

Michael Klimes is acting editor of Mmarketing. Contact him at: [email protected]