Speaking at the FSA’s financial capability conference in Cambridge last night, Turner said markets may not always work for the consumer as human behaviour can mean that too much choice can result in consumers taking no action.
He said “radical questions” need to be asked, including whether there can be too much innovation in some markets, with complexity acting as a barrier to understanding.
Turner also speculated on whether some products are too complex to be sold to consumers at all and if the FSA should intervene on pricing, at the expense of access to the market for some people.
He said: “I don’t pretend to have all the answers to these questions today. Or, indeed, that there are blanket answers that apply to every market or product. But what is clear is that consumer protection, financial capability and market intervention to protect consumers needs to be seen as part of an integrated strategy.
“And this needs to be grounded in an understanding of what role each element plays in empowering consumers and building their confidence in the market.”