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BBA says FSA must not fail consumers

BBA says FSA must not fail consumers

Category: Money

Updated: 25/06/2009
First Published: 25/06/2009

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The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has told the Financial Services Authority (FSA) it must not fail customers by clamping down on where people can get financial advice.

The call comes ahead of the FSA's Retail Distribution Review, which the BBA says should build on the strides made by the industry to deliver a better service for customers.

Specifically, the BBA says advisers should be well trained and able to give consumers top quality financial advice and guidance. The body believes the drive for increased clarity on costs and services should deliver improved outcomes for consumers and rebuild confidence in the system.

There is also concern that the review will not deliver a wide range of advice, meaning help may only appear to be available to wealthier customers.

Furthermore, simplifying procedures should be a key aim, as financial services should be easily understood. There are plans to impose minimum exam requirements for advisers, which the BBA fears will discourage the development of such services.

"Banks have a key role in helping customers make financial plans that help them meet their saving and investment needs," said BBA chief executive, Angela Knight.

"We support efforts to make sure customers know what they are getting and what they are paying for. We also believe people should know if advice is tied into any one institution.

"But change must be effective and proportionate, and must avoid imposing excessive costs for marginal or no consumer benefit."

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