The Consumers' Association is calling on the FSA to insist that consumers
are given copies of its new comparative tables by advisers as a guarantee
of best advice.
Autif slammed the tables again this week after the FSA revealed there
would now be no measure of risk in the unit trust Isa tables, contrary to
the original plans.
The FSA says its comparative tables, available from the end of September,
will give clear and authoritative information on a range of financial
products before consumers shop around for the best deal.
But the CA believes it is not enough for the FSA just to make the tables
available online or through its phone service as many consumers will not
know they exist or where to find them.
Autif communications director Anne McMeehan says: “To talk to people about
cost without addressing risk or return is to give people the belief there
is a two-dimensional existence out there. It is not giving people a clear
view of what is relevant.”
CA senior policy adviser Mick McAteer says: “It should be a requirement of
best advice for the IFA or provider to supply the consumer with comparative
FSA spokesman Rob McIvor says: “We do not see the value of compelling
advisers to give out the tables as they are a tool for consumers, not a
substitute for advice. Autif's point is very valid but we are not satisfied
that we have yet found a clear and straightforward enough way of including