New steering group launched to develop ‘simple’ financial products

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Mark Hoban, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, today announced the creation of a new steering group tasked with devising a suite of ‘simple’ financial products that will help consumers navigate the financial services market. The steering group will be chaired by Carol Sergeant (former Chief Risk Officer, Lloyds Banking Group) and include representatives from Government, industry, and trade and consumer bodies.

The group will report back to Mark Hoban by July 2012 setting out how to bring simple products to market, including how simple products are structured and marketed to ensure that consumers get the best deal. Responses to a Government consultation on simple products, published today, suggest that the group should initially focus on simple deposit savings and protection insurance products. Other areas likely to be considered include investment products to help consumers save for the long-term.

Mr Hoban commented:

“Simple financial products have the potential to help many consumers make decisions that will help them save for the first time and plan for a secure financial future for them and their families. I am delighted that Carol Sergeant has agreed to chair a steering group to develop the thinking on simple products further and to work with industry and consumer groups to bring them to fruition.”

Carol Sergeant said:

“Simple, easy to understand products need to be a viable commercial proposition for the industry, while offering consumers a straightforward benchmark that gives them the confidence to make good decisions in an often bewilderingly complicated market place. Getting this right will require the involvement of consumer groups, financial regulators and the Money Advice Service, as well as the savings, investment and protection industries. I look forward to working with all key stakeholders on this.”

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