Understanding the difference between advice and guidance

We recognise that the word ‘advice’ has different meanings in different contexts. In the context of money, giving advice is a regulated activity. Only firms that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can offer this. This framework is for non-regulated money guidance. Here is a helpful definition of the difference between advice and guidance*

Guidance is an impartial service which will help you to identify your options and narrow down your choices but will not tell you what to do or which product to buy; the decision is yours.Advice will recommend a specific product or course of action for you to take given your circumstances and financial goals. This will be personal to you, based on information you provide.
Providers of guidance are responsible for the accuracy and quality of the information they provide but not for any decision made based on it.Advice will be provided by a qualified and regulated individual or online by a regulated organisation.
Guidance is free unless your provider clearly tells you otherwise.Providers of advice are responsible and liable for the accuracy, quality and suitability of the recommendation that they make, and you are protected by law.
It will suggest what you could do.It will recommend what you should do.

Money guidance practitioners do not 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 market place.

*Taken from the suggested definitions of advice and guidance given by the Financial Advice Working Group as part of the HM Treasury/FCA Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

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