Consumers have difficulties understanding the information and advice available on financial products...
Consumers have difficulties understanding the information and advice available on financial products and often struggle to identify products which match their own financial needs, according to research published by the FSA.
The report, Better Informed Customers, was designed to identify consumers' differing needs for financial information, and is the first in a series of consumer research papers. The research also concluded there is a role for the FSA, as a trusted source of information and help.
Victoria Raffe, the FSA's head of consumer policy and research said: "For many people the world of finance is often mysterious and inaccessible. The study shows that individual consumers' experience and understanding of financial matters are not the same."
Among the main findings, it was revealed that many consumers face the difficulty of not knowing what products are available or appropriate for their needs and are overwhelmed with information in brochures. They are surprised or shocked by the small print when they find out what it means and are unaware of how to access comparative information on products.
Personal contact was the most common and preferred means of getting information. Information was obtained by personal contact for 44% of products that were bought or considered.
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