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FCA consumer panel sounds alarm on providers' guidance

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FCA consumer panel sounds alarm on providers' guidance

More needs to be done to stop providers hiding sales tactics through guidance services, according to an influential consumer body.

The Financial Services Consumer Panel, which represents consumers to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), raised the alarm at the Financial Services Consumer Panel.

‘The panel’s concern is that some providers will call what is effectively a sales process, to either increase a customer’s pension or an ISA or switch funds, guidance, and we have real concerns about that,' said Teresa Fritz, a member of the panel.

‘That is not to say all providers are doing that but some are and what we would like to see is guidance separated as a service.’

Fritz said this service should be provided by impartial organisations such as Which? and the Single Financial Guidance Body when it is established.

‘The service providers give should not be called guidance. It’s customer service or its advice or non-advised sales. If a provider can’t give impartial guidance then call it something else, it’s not guidance,’ she added.

Her comments mirror similar remarks by Michelle Cracknell, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) chief executive, who last year said providers are using guidance tools to keep customers in their own products. 

 

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