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Financial services causes highest financial loss to consumers, says OFT

More consumers suffer financial loss through dealings with financial services firms than any other product or service, according to the Office of Fair Trading.

An OFT report states that when categorised in terms of the type of product or service, the greatest proportion of total detriment is found among ‘Professional and financial services’ at 45 per cent of the total.

The highest average financial detriment per problem occurs in the insurance category, followed by home maintenance and improvements and personal banking.

The OFT published the report to measure the overall value of consumer detriment in the UK economy, which estimates that the cost to UK consumers over the last 12 months was £6.6bn.??

The report says that among those who did seek help or advice, 6 per cent contacted either an ombudsman or financial services industry body.

OFT chief executive John Fingleton says consumer confidence in markets is important to maintaining a strong and growing economy.

He says: “Understanding where consumers are experiencing the most problems and incurring the greatest losses will help us to set priorities efficiently and focus the work of the OFT on markets that are not working well.”

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