Regulator, the Financial Services Authority, will lose its key consumer education role. A new agency will be given the job of providing independent financial advice to anyone who wants it.
This will be free to the customer and paid for by a levy on the banks and other financial institutions. The standalone Consumer Education Agency will be operational in 2010.
The new agency will provide genuinely independent and impartial advice to all who want it, not simply people who have run into financial difficulties. Customers will be shepherded around the market for mortgages, pensions, bank accounts, insurance and other financial products.
The agency will focus its message on adults. Financial education for children will remain the responsibility of schools. Personal finance will be included in the Personal, Social and Health Education programme in secondary schools.