The third tranche of the FSA's Comparative Tables went live online today. The latest ins...
The third tranche of the FSA's Comparative Tables went live online today.
The latest instalment aims to provide consumers with impartial, easy-to-understand information about savings endowments, mortgage endowments and investment bonds.
New information is provided on 37 savings endowments and 23 tax free savings endowments; 19 mortgage endowments and 76 investments bonds.
Christine Farnish, Consumer Director at the FSA said: "Once consumers have decided on the type of financial product they want to buy - and they may well need expert financial advice to arrive at that decision - they should check if there's a table for it. The tables are helping to improve the transparency and comparability of financial products, making it easier for consumers to be better informed and shop around for the best deal."
Some IFA's, however, are less enthusiastic. They argue the tables blur the authority's role as regulator to advisor. Critics insist the FSA must explain the difference between taking advice and not taking advice rather than simply encourage consumers to find it.
One IFA reasoned: "If the FSA is keen to provide greater investor protection, it might consider the protection of someone buying direct, as a result of viewing the FSA web pages, and someone who consults a financial adviser and then has the usual protection and the professional Indemenity to fall back on if something goes wrong."
Comparative tables are already available on Unit Trust ISAs and personal pensions, including stakeholder pensions. They can be found at www.fsa.gov.uk/tables. Further products will be added next year, with mortgages planned for summer 2002.
The FSA noted only two significant providers have declined to participate in the tables, they are St James's Place and Skandia.
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