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Traffic lights for products

A traffic-light system could be used for financial products, similar to the one used in food labelling.

The Government will be investigating whether to introduce a system to improve consumer access to basic financial products.

It says any scheme is likely to be compulsory. The White Paper notes that stakeholder and Cat standards were unpopular with the financial services industry.

It says: “The ideal system would allow freedom over product design while guiding those people who would be best served by basic, cheap and accessible products in the right direction.

“Wherever people do choose other, more complex options, the system should make sure they do so knowing about cheaper and simpler alternatives.”

Informed Choice joint managing director Martin Bamford says: “The drawback of any product-based warning system is that the nature of risk and complexity changes depending on the person who is buying it. For some people, a product might be a red light but for others it could be an amber or green light.”

More detailed consultation is to be issue by the end of the year.

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