Financial products ‘need simplifying’

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financial products simplifying

financial products simplifyingThe world of family savings accounts, mortgages and other financial products can be confusing for young families looking to make their first investments or save for their children's future.

And during the middle of a recession in which bank's actions are being questioned by police, we are losing our trust in the UK's financial institutions.

As a result, a review commissioned by the Treasury has recommended that there should be a series of simplified and easily comparable financial products in order to regain customer's confidence in the finance sector.

The Sergeant Review of Simple Financial Products interim report is to be opened for further discussion and consultation before a final report is due to be published in February 2013.

Ms Sergeant said: "When consumers arrive at the financial marketplace there should be simple processes and products available to allow them to make an informed and straightforward decision."

The recommendations

One of the recommendations in the review is to use kitemarks and an independent organisation to make sure financial standards are being maintained and customers are aware of the best family savings products available.

In order to improve competition and products available, the main simplified financial products suggested in the review were an easy-access family savings account, a 30-day notice savings account and simple-term life insurance.

The adults most likely to get a financial advisor earn between £15,000 and £50,000, and the review believes there are around 15.5 million households or 29.4 million adults that would make use of this simplified financial strategy.

The review also stated that there are roughly 9.7 million households or 19.8 million adults that would suit more simplified life insurance products.

Simplified financial products

The aim of the suggested simplified financial products is to be easily understandable, easily comparable, easy to monitor and have no hidden costs or surprises.

The report said that they should meet customer's needs "and no more".

They should also be "non-advice" products available directly from providers, according to the review, which would make them both affordable and commercially viable.

Customers would also benefit from the same terms, conditions and language used to describe each product, with firms competing on price, service and their own identity, according to the review.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban, said: "The Government is committed to putting the consumer back at the heart of the financial system, but we understand that restoring public trust in financial products is not an easy task at the moment.

"I am pleased to say that 'simple' financial products offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate that products can both be easy to understand and meet customers' most important financial needs."

With so many different products available, life insurance can sometimes be difficult to understand.

First of all, it is important to know that there four different types available - lump sum, income, critical illness and income protection - then you need to work out how much your family earns in wages in order to make the right decision on what it is that best suits your needs.

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