Virtually all cases in the Sandler 'filtered' questions testing are now thought to be compliant under the FSA sales regime, according to providers involved in the testing of FSA research.
Firms who consumer-tested 'light touch' product filtered questions on behalf of the FSA were invited to a special meeting last Friday to discover the latest findings of consumer testing.
According to sources attending that meeting, of the 500 cases tested "the quality of the process seems to be better" says one source as only a handful did not live up to the quality of advice which might usually be required of IFAs and tied agents operating under Conduct of Business rules.
That said, evidence indicates not all of the consumer cases tested may not be able to complete the sale of a product, because the people tested had relatively high levels of debt to clear.
Filtered questions – without the need for financial advice – were designed to encourage the take-up of “off the shelf” lighter touch regulation products as the government had hoped to target such products of interest to lower-earners.
However, those attending the FSA meeting say there is still no indication to suggest low-earners will take out the lighter touch products, because the questioning encourages consumers to deal with debt first.
A first round of consumer testing on filtered questions unveiled last November discovered around 1 in 10 completed cases, using the non-advised study, were not compliant with the FSA’s standards and requirements on Conduct of Business rules.
Industry officials say an announcement also expected towards the end of the month concerning the charge cap on stakeholder-based products, which commentators suggest could be part of the FSA report into the design of Sandler products.
A spokeswoman for the FSA points out the regulator's is merely to facilitate the establishment of the Sandler products sales regime and products and therefore cannot comment on the findings of research concerning the government's target market.IFAonline
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