Steering group publishes recommendations for 'simple' financial products

Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 10:40
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

An independent steering group set up by the Government has today published initial recommendations on the development of 'simple' financial products that will better enable consumers to navigate the financial services market, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban, announced.

The independent steering group, chaired by Carol Sergeant (formerly of Lloyds Banking Group) has published its initial report following consultation with a wide range of consumer groups and industry representatives. Formed following a Government consultation in 2010, the group was tasked with devising a suite of financial products which would help consumers to better engage with what can be a complex financial services market.

In the report published today, it proposes:

  • an easy access savings account;  
  • a 30 day notice account;a simple term life insurance product;
  • a 'Simple Products' accreditation body to ensure that these products are meeting core standards outlined by the group; and
  • an accompanying 'kite mark' badge to ensure that these products are clearly identifiable to consumers.

The full set of initial recommendations set out in the report will now be open for further consultation, ahead of publication of the final report in February 2013.
Mr Hoban said:

"The Government is committed to putting the consumer back at the heart of the financial system, but we understand that restoring public trust in financial products is not an easy task at the moment. I am pleased to say that 'simple' financial products offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate that products can both be easy to understand and meet customers' most important financial needs."

Ms Sergeant said:

"When consumers arrive at the financial marketplace there should be simple processes and products available to allow them to make an informed and straightforward decision. I would like to thank all the participants from consumer groups and industry who have engaged with the project so far, and look forward to the next stage in this process."

Source: ©HM Treasury

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