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Calls for bigger FSA spend on consumer education

The FSA should dramatically increase what it spends on educating consumers and consider establishing a sub-board responsible for education the Sandler review team has recommended.
The report says only 3 per cent of its budget in the last financial year was spent on consumer education, a total the review team considers is far too low.
The review says it considered recommending shifting responsibility for consumer education to a different organisation, but ruled this out because it would appear as a vote of non-confidence early on in the FSA&#39s development.
Instead the review advocates a separate division, which could take the form of a sub-board to the main FSA board.
The Consumers&#39 Association says while the amount the regulator spends on consumer education is abysmally low, there is a need to rethink the whole approach to consumer awareness and consider launching large-scale public awareness campaigns.
Sandler&#39s report says: “Consumer education together with the provision of information and generic advice, only accounts for less than 3 per cent of the FSA&#39s budget.”
FSA spokesman Rob McIvor says: “It is a bit like the NHS where everyone says we must spend more. Our view is we have to look at what is the most effective way to spend money. Simply throwing more money at it is not the solution.”
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The FSA has announced it will launch a consulatation in Spring 2003 about its consumer education responsibilities.

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