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Treasury calls for industry action on simple products

Sajid Javid 480

Treasury economic secretary Sajid Javid is calling on the financial services industry to act on simple products more than four months after the publication of the Sergeant Review.

In 2011, the Government asked former FSA director and Lloyds Banking Group director of risk Carol Sergeant to chair an independent simple financial products steering group.

The group was tasked with developing a suite of financial products which are straightforward and easy to understand.

The final report, published on 13 March this year, recommended products with standardised features, simplified terms and conditions and pricing transparency, as well as regular information and product updates.

In a written parliamentary question, published yesterday, Conservative MP for Glamorgan Alun Cairns asked what progress had been made on developing simple products.

Responding for the Government, Javid said: “This is an opportunity for industry to proactively take steps to improve competition in savings and protection, by helping consumers to compare products and actively engage with the market as well as building consumer trust in the industry.

“The Government fully expects that the financial services industry will recognise these benefits, and look to industry to make the recommendations in the final Sergeant Review report a reality.”

The Sergeant Review recommended the first set of simple financial products developed will be an easy access savings account; a 30-day notice savings account; a regular savings account; and a fixed term life insurance product. It said a whole of life insurance product should be added next.

The Association of British Insurers will lead further work on a simple income replacement product and report back in six months.

The Treasury will carry out a progress review of simple products in March 2014, 12 months after the final report.



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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. ibangmyheadagainstthewall ... 17th July 2013 at 3:55 pm


    We ALREADY have simple products. We already have more-than-enough ways of comparing them. So why this pointless exercise??

    Keeping useless politicians in a job, I guess?!?

    Oh, btw, wasn’t Stakeholder a resounding success?? Hurray …

  2. Let me join you in headbanging 17th July 2013 at 4:02 pm

    wtf indeed.
    Who ARE these uselss useless people?? How much more simple could the existing Easy Access savings accounts be? If they think what is there already isnt right, then why dont they simply state PRECISELY what they want to see change, instead of continually guffing out job-justification hot air and confuscation. Sadly I think I know the answer – what most of these types have in common is that they are NOT practical or solution conscious, have no real experience of achieving or doing anything meaningful, but have found a niche where the ability to waffle and confuse fits in well in a system that is deficient, pointless and counter productive to society. And yet we all let them get away with it year after year. Utter utter madness.

  3. Here we go again.

    Products can be simple – advice isnt.


  4. LTA..pays out if dead within the term.
    MDTA pays off mortgage if dead within the term
    IPB, pays an income if sick
    CIB pays out if diagnosed with listed critical illness.

    Simple financial products…end of review

  5. Lindsay Lockett 17th July 2013 at 4:20 pm

    The only simple thing we need is a simple compliance structure to promote simple products under.

    Why the hell does the industry need to be “proactive” in trying to invent new low cost products that “simpletons” can buy only for us to have to indemnify them for life if the “outcome” isn’t what they had expected.

  6. Agree with Anonymous 4;20 – what we need is the simplification of compliance (and not in the pension simplification guise).

  7. This guy is supposed to be Treasury Economic Secretary. God help us if he thinks a personal pension plan or a term assurance policy is complicated.

  8. Keep banging and you might create some sense, same 17th July 2013 at 5:34 pm

    bet you didn’t even read the report. If you did you would understand the point illustrated by Andy beautifully. LTA and MDTA, the TA stands for Term Assurance… A contradiction in terms if you understood your FS terminology .. Simple for customers? Get real.

  9. There must be a conveyor belt somewhere that is churning out “simple treasury policy makers”

    What nationality is Sajid Javid?

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