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Aifa says clear away clutter

Aifa says the FSA&#39s review of product information at point of sale is a chance to clear away the clutter in disclosure.

In its response to the FSA&#39s discussion paper, Aifa agrees with the regulator&#39s suggestion that the key features document does not help investors shop around to find the most appropriate products.

Aifa says there are two important factors which should not be underestimated in drawing up the new disclosure regime.

First, information should be well presented to consumers so it is easy for them to understand. Second, the importance of trust in the relationship between clients, financial advisers and product providers should be not be overlooked.

But Aifa also voices concern about the focus on charges in comparative information tables. It suggests clients may think disclosure is all about price and not value.

Aifa criticises the FSA for not recognising that the reasons why letter used by IFAs is a powerful tool in disclosure. It also claims IFAs are not in favour of regulatory badging, where theFSA&#39s name appears on documents given to clients, as they doubt the effectiveness of such warnings.

Director general Paul Smee says: “The FSA should aim to provide consumers with information of a high quality which is easy to understand, short and relevant, rather than producing greater amounts of material which is likely to remain unread.”

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