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abolish FSA’s “money made clear”

Comment 22nd July 2010

As an independent financial adviser working hard to give good advice to the public I find the above system to be totally inappropriate for the following reasons:

>in  trying to give advice the FSA are attempting to do the job of the advisers who they are supposed to regulate. This is a blatant conflict of interest

>the information given on the website often needs explanation to be interpreted and applied correctly. By posting the information for the public to use, the FSA are giving the public the very dangerous impression that the numbers tell the whole story, when for example, a mortgage applicant without professional advice can easily fall foul of unseen lock-ins or exit charges, escalating interest, heavy arrabgement fees, unnecesary legal costs – in other words the myriad of ways in which the banks seek to stitch up the public who are naive enough to enter important financial transactions without taking professional advice

> even worse, the information given by the FSA has been highlighted as being inaccurate, which means that they themselves are misleading the public who they are supposed to be protecting

>finally, by encouraging the public to act without advice the FSA is weakening independent advisers who in my view are the only group capable of steering the public through the morass of sales and marketing driven information designed to attract customers to the "sexiest" deal which may be totally inappropriate for the customer in question AND have hidden costs

Why does this matter?

this idea is critically important if the regulation of the financial services industry is to gain any credibility and the public are to be helped with good advice rather than being left at the mercy of the big institutions who are totally focussed on short term profits, and not on serving the best interests of their customers

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