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FSA pressing ahead with ban on non-advised sales

The proposal to ban non-advised sales for complex products is going ahead despite industry opposition to the move.

In its product intervention paper, published in January, the FSA said it is considering banning non-advised sales or limiting sales to certain types of customers where products are complicated or where there is a high risk of consumer detriment.

It published a feedback statement this week showing that it received 41 responses to the proposal, with 70 per cent of respondents arguing against the move.

Many respondents said customers should be allowed to choose whether they want advice or not and that the abil-ity to do so may encourage consumers to take responsibility for their own product decisions.

But the FSA says: “We believe that this option should be available to us where we identify particularly vulnerable consumers or particular circumstances in which it is the most likely route to improve customer outcomes.”

The regulator acknowledges industry concerns that the move to ban non-advised sales could drive customers away from the market but says it is not clear whether a significant number of customers would be affected.

It adds: “The option of preventing non-advised sales or sales to certain consumer groups would never be used indiscriminately and would only be used where the benefits outweigh the costs.”


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