‘Conflicting messages in FSA comparison tables’

The FSA’s comparative tables could cause confusion among consumers with conflicting disclaimers and confusion over their use, says Scottish Widows market director, protection Nick Kirwan.

The FSA accepts no responsibility for the information contained within the site but recommends consumers to use them. This leaves questions as to where liability lies if a client believes he or she has been misinformed, says Kirwan. He says although the tables can help to decide which products to look at, the disclaimers warn that the tables should not be used to decide which products to buy, which sends out a conflicting message to consumers.

Consumers must not think the information constitutes as financial or professional advice but advisers can use the information provided within the advice process.

Kirwan says: “The warning says you should not use the tables to decide which product to buy but I cannot help wondering, what should I use them for then? It is interesting that there are no tables for protection products. Once again, this sends a strange message.”

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: “On liability, there is no absolute answer. It depends on where the error has crept in. There are no plans for tables for protection products.”

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