Thursday, 02 May 2019 11:04

FCA launches intergenerational finance discussion paper

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The FCA has today published a discussion paper on intergenerational financial differences, exploring the changing financial needs of consumers from different age groups.

The regulator says the way people build and use wealth is evolving having an impact on their financial needs.

With one of the FCA’s statutory objectives being to protect consumers, it says it is “important” that its approach adapts to the changing needs of the different groups within and between generations.

The regulator has posed a series of questions to start a debate on what it and the financial services industry could do better to meet changing consumer needs.

 

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “From Baby Boomers, to Generation X to Millennials – everyone’s financial needs and circumstances are evolving.

“It is clear each generation will have its own challenges.

“With this paper, the FCA has a specific focus on the role the regulatory framework plays in reducing barriers to intergenerational engagement with their finances.

“Now is the time to step back, consider and understand how these needs are evolving and challenge assumptions about consumer needs in the context of different intergenerational factors.”

The paper includes analysis of the ONS Wealth and Assets Survey, looking at how wealth levels of people of the same age changed between 2006/08 and 2014/16.

For an individual aged 40 to 50, total wealth was less than that compared to individuals of the same age 10 years earlier.

This contrasted with individuals around retirement age – an individual aged 60 to 70 had significantly more in real terms.

The FCA says it cannot develop regulation that adapts to the changing needs of different generations through comparing figures at two points in time.

It insists it needs “to understand the specific challenges these age groups face”.

The FCA wants to encourage regulators, Government, firms and others with an interest to contribute to the debate on how best to meet these financial needs.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Although the challenges that exist for these different cohorts of people are fairly clear, there are no easy solutions.

“The shift from paternalism to individualism has happened as a result of massive, unstoppable demographic trends – no single product or ‘innovation’ can change this fact.

“Ultimately, those wanting to enjoy a comfortable retirement now need to take responsibility rather than waiting for action from policymakers.”

 

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Last modified on Thursday, 02 May 2019 11:15
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