The UK Structured Products Association (SPA) has branded the IMA "misleading" after the trade body criticised complex structured products for their "hidden risks".
In its response to the Financial Services Consumer Panel's (FSCP's) 10-point plan for financial services, the IMA said: "We support the call for transparent product design and good communication which enables customers to compare products.
"We have long been concerned about complex structured products with hidden risks and unnamed counterparties."
But the SPA says the IMA has put a negative slant on the FSCP's statement, deliberately singling out structured products.
The first of the FSCP's 10 points calls for "straightforward" products which "do what they say on the tin." It makes no mention of structured products in particular.
"The FSCP makes no mention of any particular retail investments within its 10-point plan," an SPA spokesperson says.
"It is disappointing to see the IMA misinterpret the Panel's statement by indicating that some investment types are specifically being targeted."
"The IMA's stance on structured products particularly is outdated and misleading, suggesting hidden risks and unnamed counterparties."
The SPA says it is now "common practice" for all structured product providers to publish details of product counterparties.
"All providers are in regular dialogue with the FSA to ensure all client literature clearly explains the risks associated with the investment, according to standards expected by the regulator," the spokesperson adds.
In response, IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: "It is pleasing the UK SPA is encouraging greater transparency in structured products. I wish them every success in that.
"The best solution of course would be to bring regulatory disclosure standards into line for all types of investment product.
"Proposals are currently being prepared by the European Commission to help bring this about, and I hope they will have support from those representing all participants in the retail investment market."
The IMA has criticised structured products before. In September 2008, it released a statement saying structured products "should not be taken at face value".
It said that promoters are under no obligation to report performance which can make it hard to access claims about returns. It also suggested investors may be sacrificing too much return for the protection offered.
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