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New review aims to give consumers better financial advice

A consultation into how financial advice could be made to work better for consumers will be launched on Monday.

The probe will look at how "advice gaps" in the market can be bridged, as well as what role new "robo advice" technology could have in making it easier for people to access financial advice in a way that suits their needs.

The consultation, being launched jointly by the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) forms part of a review into the financial advice market that began in August.

The review builds on the new pension freedoms that came into force in April and have given people aged 55 and over a much wider array of options to choose from when deciding what to do with their later life savings.

As part of the freedoms, people have access to a free, impartial guidance service called Pension Wise. They may also decide to pay for independent financial advice.

The review aims to improve the availability of advice to people, particularly those who may struggle to access advice because they do not have significant wealth or income.

It will also look at how new technology and consumers' increasing use of the internet is changing how people go about their financial planning.

The consultation will be open until December 22 and a final report will be published ahead of Budget 2016.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriet Baldwin said: "W e're exploring what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money."

Tracey McDermott, acting CEO at the FCA said: " It is important that the market provides accessible and affordable advice when people need it."

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