CA welcomes Sandler's call for reform of finance industry but calls on FSA and Government to act
Consumers' Association (CA) has today welcomed the Sandler review, which nails the industry line that it serves the consumer interest. The report offers a blueprint for the industry, focusing on consumer needs.
Sandler has confirmed CA's assessment of poor products, bad advice and failed regulation. Now is the time for industry and government to acknowledge the diagnosis of the problems and focus on the solutions.
The review sets out key proposals that would help to address the causes of past mis-selling scandals, through simplification of products and advice. The proposals can reduce the sale of unsuitable products and go some way to addressing the quality of advice.
In relation to with-profits funds, CA fully endorses the finding that transparency is not enough and that structural change is needed to redress the balance between shareholders and policyholders.
Sheila McKechnie, Director, Consumers' Association, said:
“This is a powerful report. It has correctly diagnosed the fundamental failings of the financial services industry. It shows that sole reliance on information and the market to deliver does not work. The products are too complex. It offers a way forward which focuses on the needs of consumers not industry. There are some fundamental challenges here for industry, FSA and the Government. The litmus test will be whether the industry and the regulatory regime are fit to meet them and whether Sandler's sensible recommendations become a reality for all consumers.
“The review has tackled many of the problems facing consumers long-term. The Government will now face a challenge to ensure that consumers in the short term who are imprisoned by bad products and who have been mis-sold are able to seek redress.”