Barclays has been awarded the first simple products kitemark by the British Standards Institution.
The bank’s fixed-term life insurance policy is the product to be granted the kitemark, which recognises retail financial products that meet its nine principles including clear pricing and descriptions.
The simple products initiative was set up in March 2013 after an independent review commissioned by then Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban found a lack of transparency made product comparisons difficult. The review was chaired by former FSA director and Lloyds Banking Group chief risk officer Carol Sergeant.
Barclays’ life cover is underwritten by Aviva.
BSI chief executive Howard Kerr says: “Last year’s Sergeant review highlighted the need for transparent, easy to understand savings and protection products that the public can trust to meet their essential needs. The new BSI certification process – BSI Kitemark – gives consumers the confidence to make an informed and straightforward purchasing decision.”
Sergeant says: “Navigating the financial marketplace and making good choices with confidence remains a challenge. Just a year on from the conclusions of our review I’m delighted to see the first simple financial product independently certified and our recommendations become a reality. And there are several more simple financial products in the pipeline.”
Barclays personal banking managing director Catherine McGrath says: “We are pleased to be able to offer the first certified product and see this as an important step forward for the industry.”