Supporting you in: knowing the boundaries

Be confident that you're always giving money guidance, and never advice, to your customers. Or, build on what you already know if this is a strength area for you.

How to use this support page

Not sure what to do next? We recommend working through the page in full, starting with Unsure about the boundaries. It's all useful.

Unsure about the boundaries - boost your knowledge

1. Watch a video about Nakia, who gives money guidance, and Alastair, who provides advice as a debt adviser.

2. Recap the main differences between money guidance and money advice.

These differences are adapted from the suggested definitions of advice and guidance as part of the HM Treasury/FCA Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR). 

3. Review Foundation D: The boundaries of the service and your role for more on the boundaries when you are having money conversations.

It’s also important to make sure you’re aware of any regulations in the areas your money conversations touch on, such as debt, pensions and investments.

When it comes to money conversations, giving ‘advice’ is a regulated activity. Only firms that are regulated by the FCA can offer this. When giving money guidance, you should never provide personal recommendations for financial products, or recommendations on a specific course of action. However, money guidance practitioners do need to have a general and broad knowledge of the range of financial products and services available in the marketplace.
Guidance is an impartial service that helps customers identify their options and narrow down their choices, but will not tell them what to do or which product to buy – that’s their decision.
Providers of guidance are responsible for the accuracy and quality of the information they provide, but not for any decision made based on it.
Guidance is free unless the provider clearly states otherwise.
Guidance will suggest what you could do.
Advice recommends a specific product or course of action for a customer to take given their circumstances and financial goals. This will be personal, based on information provided.
Advice will be provided by a qualified and regulated individual or online by a regulated organisation.
Advice providers are responsible and liable for the accuracy, quality and suitability of the recommendation they make, with customers protected by law.
Advice will recommend what you should do.

Confident about the boundaries - build on your strength

1. Review your knowledge of the boundaries with colleagues. Do you all share the same understanding? If not, can you help your team members?

2. Along with advice, there may be areas of money guidance that you can’t help with.

3. Make sure you’re confident in signposting customers, be that to colleagues, debt advice, financial advice, lawyers or other services you do not provide. Review Foundation E: Signposting customers.

4. Your organisation may well have signposting policies, procedures and referral lists, so it’s important to be clear about these and follow them. If not, consider creating these resources with colleagues, so everyone feels sure they’re signposting to the right places.

5. For the areas and issues to consider, take a look at the  following parts of the Money Guiders Competency Framework: Foundation D and Foundation E. You can also go to MoneyHelperOpens in a new window for free, impartial money guidance, and links to other sources of information and support. 

Join us at a community event

Don’t forget to join the free Money Guiders networkOpens in a new window. Sign up today if you haven’t already done so. Then, you can join any event that supports you in your role. 

Familiar with the framework?

The Money Guidance Competency Framework sets clear benchmarks, and defines money guidance and the boundary with regulated advice.