The FSA is believed to be considering adopting a guided self-help filtered questions regime which it admits could leave up to 10 per cent of consumers with the wrong product.
The regulator is thought to be looking at a standard of 90 per cent of customers getting the same advice through filtered questions as they would have got from advisers. Last December, the FSA went back to the drawing board with its guided self-help plans as its research showed that only 80 per cent of customers were pointed towards the right solutions.
An announcement on the new sales regime – which would allow the sales of Sander products with restricted recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service – is expected towards the end of May.
Aifa director of public affairs Tracey Mullins says: “If IFAs made mistakes for 10 per cent of customers, the FSA would not be at all happy. The whole business is coming from a Treasury point of view that it is better for someone to get a product that is not right for them but not toxic rather than buy nothing.”
Consumers' Association senior policy adviser Mick McAteer says: “These figures are meaningless anyway because the research is flawed. Once they realise they will have restricted access to the ombudsman, consumers will balk at these products.”
The FSA declined to comment.