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PIA probes way industry treats ethnic groups and low-paid

The PIA is set to publish two major research projects in the next month looking at groups excluded from financial services.

Its Evolution project included comments on the treatment of ethnic minorities and low-income groups.

The PIA&#39s consumer panel has expressed concern at the way these groups are dealt with by financial services companies.

The Office of Fair Trading is also set to publish a report after an investigation covering financial services and vulnerable consumers.

Its research will cover the relationship of banks, investment houses and life offices with low-income groups, ethnic minorities and the elderly.

IFAs have given news of the PIA research a lukewarm response.

Troy French and Partners partner Peter French says: “I would be horrified if there were separate products because of the colour of my skin. It is all part of the political correctness process. There are products out there for Muslims who have a certain code of ethics.

“The poor do not have enough to save. They should get in the real world because such people need every penny to survive.”

Maddison Monetary Management director Andy Harris says: “We are not a charity. We are in this business to make money.”

The PIA&#39s review comes as the Government steps up its push to bring more people into financial services.

The Government is hoping that the advent of the Individual Savings Account will prompt lower-income groups to start saving.

PIA head of press Sarah Modlock says: “”It is important that we educate ourselves about areas or types of investors which may require special consideration.

“We hope this research will be of use to the industry as a whole when it is published.”


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