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Treasury group may shift focus to create simple investments

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Treasury group may shift focus to create simple investments

The Treasury’s independent steering group on simple financial products could shift its focus to creating simple investment products.

The group, set up by the Treasury in October 2011 and headed by former Lloyds chief risk officer Carol Sergeant, has so far worked on simple savings and insurance products.

Peter Williams, who leads a group working on the delivery of simplified advice commissioned by the financial services Gleneagles conference, said Sergeant was looking to build on that focus by examining investment products.

‘[They’ve done the] cheap, cheerful and non-advised products, and the next question is whether you can design an investment product that meets that criteria,’ he said.

Williams (pictured) said it was challenging to design a product that had a guarantee but remained simple.

‘It’s difficult to make [investment products] that are completely foolproof,’ he said.

‘You’d have to bring in some form of guarantee, which would bring in complexity. And consumers would have to [be able to buy it] unaided, and that’s something Sergeant’s group is going to have to work on.’

A spokesman from the Treasury said: ‘In the future, the steering group could take forward the simple products work and decide to investigate the scope for simple investment products.’

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