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McFall backs product regulation to counter complexities of innovation

Treasury select committee chairman John McFall is in favour of product regulation and has criticised the FSA’s reticence to introduce it in the past.

At a Reform and Aviva event at the Labour conference in Brighton this week, Labour MP McFall described the retail financial services sector as “lousy” and said he was in favour of regulation to make products simpler.

McFall said: “When I hear the word innovation, I cringe. particularly in the financial services industry. It reminds me of getting on a plane when the guy would say about the pilot, our pilot was really innovative to which I want to say, get lost, I just want to land safely.

“It is the same with products. What we have seen in the financial services industry is innovation coming out of our ears to the extent the industry themselves do not know exactly what they are selling and that is why we are in this particular situation at the moment so give me innovation in moderation.”

McFall said the FSA had been too timid in doing anything about product regulation in the past. He said: “I am for simpler regulation in simple language so people know what they are signing up to. The FSA, to use a Scottish word, has been a bit blate [bashful] in the past on this product regulation and I hope the retail distribution review comes up with something and they get a little bit of courage and do something about this.”

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