Part of Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 1st February 2018.

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Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions) 12:45 pm, 1st February 2018

These amendments deal with developing and delivering the function of the SFGB and with the notion of a national strategy to improve financial guidance relevant to the modern labour market.

Amendment 27 would strengthen the SFGB’s strategic function to support and co-ordinate a national strategy to what we call a “develop and deliver” function. We propose that the new body should not only play a part in developing and devising the national strategy for increased financial education and inclusion, but be tasked with delivering that function. As the primary body for advice and guidance on financial services, it will be best placed to deliver a scheme that seems to target a specific area of need—financial illiteracy—for many people in the United Kingdom.

As we have stated from the start, this is a two-topic Bill. The first concerns the establishment of a new arm’s length entity to replace the three existing publicly funded consumer bodies. The SFGB will have a strategic function to support and co-ordinate the development of a national strategy. The Bill’s stated aim, which we support, is to increase financial capability, reduce problem debt and improve public understanding of occupational and personal pensions. Especially given the appointment of a Minister for Financial Inclusion, the SFGB’s strategic function could be strengthened to a “develop and deliver” function, despite the fact that the body may have limited leverage in certain areas.