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FSA conducting review of KFIs

The Financial Services Authority has confirmed that it is conducting a review of Key Facts Illustrations, saying that “less is more.”

In a speech today at the annual conference for the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Clive Briault, managing director of retail markets at the FSA, says it has started to review examples of KFI documents to assess how the rules are being applied in practice.

He says: “Our initial focus has been on the major mortgage lenders. The layout and clarity of most of these documents is good, and we welcome the efforts that these lenders have made.

“However, and as has been the subject of some discussion in the market, the length of these documents varies dramatically, from just over three pages to double figures. Of course, more complex products require greater explanation and thus a longer Key Facts document.

“But not all of the longer documents apply to more complex products.

“And the problem with length is that it discourages consumers from reading the document in the first place and tends to obscure the key elements of information within unnecessary detail.

“This is an area where ‘less is more’ and we are discussing with some firms how they can achieve this.”

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