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Tables are turned again as the FSA rejects risk

The Consumers&#39 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

tables.”

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&#39s point is very valid but we are not satisfied

that we have yet found a clear and straightforward enough way of including

risk.”

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