The FSA has embarked on consumer testing for its much-criticised comparative product tables with a v...
The FSA has embarked on consumer testing for its much-criticised comparative product tables with a view to making them available from August or September.
Prototypes of the tables are being tested on carefully selected focus groups to decide on the final format that they will take for distribution over the internet.
The product areas that will initially be covered are: unit trust and Oeic Isas, personal pensions, investment bonds, savings endowments (unit-linked and with profits) and mortgages.
Other areas such as stakeholder and the wider Oeic and unit trust universe are to be developed in the coming months.
The target market for the tables is retail consumers to enable them to compare products and shop around. The ultimate aim is to increase choice. Many asset managers have contested the value of the tables which will not contain past performance, something the FSA claims provides no indication of future performance.
That reduces the tables to a comparison of costs. Pressure groups like Autif argue that past performance has a significant part to play in an investor's choice of investment.
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