View more on these topics

Don’t put onus of decoding complex products on consumers, FSCP urges

The Financial Services Consumer Panel is calling for consumers to have to shoulder less responsibility for their financial decisions.

The panel is an independent statutory body and was established to advise the Financial Services Authority on the interests and concerns of consumers and to report on the regulator’s performance in meeting its objectives.

Last week it published a briefing paper on consumer responsibility which argues that it is unreasonable to expect consumers to understand the details of complex financial products and services.

The new Financial Services Bill, which is being discussed in Parliament, contains a proposal that the incoming Financial Conduct Authority should have regard to the principle that consumers should take responsibility for their decisions.

Adam Phillips, chair of the FSCP, says: “All too often the products consumers are sold are so complex and the risks involved so obscure that it is impossible for them to make reasoned decisions.

“This is why the panel believes that the FCA should be able to make rules to impose fiduciary responsibilities on the industry. This would ensure consumers could be confident that firms would act responsibly and treat them fairly.”


Plenty still to be done despite B2L growth

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has announced the 2011 figures for buy-to-let and they are a pleasant surprise compared with what was being predicted.


Halifax increases SVR to 3.99%

Close to a million Halifax borrowers are facing a hike in their mortgage payments after the lender announced it is increasing its standard variable rate.


SVR increases add to borrowers’ woes

Despite base rate remaining at 0.5% for three years Bank of Ireland yesterday became the second lender in less than a week to announce an SVR increase.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up