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Mass affluent branded &#39meaningless jargon&#39

The financial services industry has acted recklessly in trying to create the so-called “mass affluent” market, according to comdirect.

The comments follow findings from an opinion poll commissioned by the German online stockbroker, which revealed more than one in two Britons have no idea what “mass affluent” really means.

It argues the move by many financial service companies to launch wealth management services for the mass affluent, or those earning over £50,000 a year, have misjudged the marketplace and do not offer customers value for money.

The research, conducted among 1,000 consumers, indicates that only 48 per cent of those surveyed identified the correct meaning of the term.

The stockbroker says some wealth management services penalise customers by placing high limits on accounts such as a £50,000 minimum before they receive benefits such as access to equity research.

The finding that 38 per cent of respondents would not even hazard a guess on what mass affluent means has led comdirect to argue that the term is simply another piece of financial jargon. It says the concept has been badly thought out in terms of how it will be received by consumers.

Managing director John Glendinning says: “With the Government trying so hard to bring greater transparency into financial services, we are firmly opposed to any move that erodes consumer choice, simplicity and fair pricing.

“The mass affluent episode is another example of financial institutions recklessly attempting to create a market, seemingly impervious to the basic service and value for money issues people of all income groups want to see addressed.”


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