Banks still have to address misselling concerns before they are able to launch simple products, according to the British Bankers’ Association.
Speaking at a pfeg fringe event at the Conservative conference in Manchester today, BBA chief executive Anthony Browne, who sat on the steering committee of the Government-backed Sergeant Review into simple products, said banks are still working through the details but stressed the regime would not be a “safe harbour” from regulation.
The Treasury published its report into simple products, led by Carol Sergeant, in March with a list of kitemarked savings and insurance products. No bank or insurer has been able to bring out products based on the review in the seven months since the report.
Browne said: “Banks are working out the quality assurance scheme as we must have something which recognises them as simple products.
“There are still issues around misselling because there are strict controls over how you actually sell products. While an individual product might be fine, we have to make sure it is not sold in way that could be misleading.
“Banks have a responsibility for the welfare of their customers. We have to conceive of the whole situation, so if customers have very big debts from payday lenders then it would be wrong to encourage them to put money into savings products as they should pay off their debts first.
”It is not a safe harbour from regulation or misselling. It should be simple because, as the parliamentary commission on banking standards said, financial products have become too complex.”