The importance of timely financial advice
The Act requires local authorities to provide access to ‘independent financial advice’ on matters relating to care and support and ‘regulated financial advice’. These are two different things and our helpline service is designed to provide the former and to recognise when the latter is required and to facilitate an appropriate referral to an appropriate professional.
Access to financial advice is undoubtedly a very important requirement for many people, however timing is absolutely crucial. Referring an individual straight to financial advice could potentially mean that they miss out on vital information. It may also prove intimidating for the citizen who may not feel that they initially have a need for financial advice and of course it may introduce costs and charges at a premature stage.
Understandably, some local authorities also have a concern about the reputational and commercial risk of referring citizens directly to financial advisers and have a preference to adopt an “air gap” solution in which the referral process is undertaken by a third party. The alternative is that you signpost or refer citizens to a list of unvetted financial advisers who may or may not have the appropriate experience or qualifications and may recommend care costs avoidance trusts or schemes – a risk that up until now most councils have been unprepared to entertain.
Working with The Care Advice Line will provide you with the reassurance that all professionals (financial, legal or other) are vetted and are not only qualified in the required area of expertise but are also experienced, competent and accredited, operate according to the requirements of the Retail Distribution Review, including customer charging, adhere to codes of practice and additionally have agreed to The Care Advice Line’s service level agreement.