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Plan to ‘kitemark’ simple products launched

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02/08/2012
A range of kitemarked simple products should be introduced to help restore consumer trust in the financial services industry, a Treasury-commissioned review has recommended.

A simple easy-access savings account, a 30-day notice savings account and a simple-term life insurance product could benefit the millions of households that have combined incomes of above £15,000 but below £50,000, the report said.

The initial recommendations in the Sergeant Review of Simple Financial Products interim report, headed up by former chief risk officer at Lloyds Banking Group, Carol Sergeant, will be open for further consultation ahead of a final report in February.

The report, which follows a consultation launched two years ago, said a kitemark badge should be introduced to help people identify the products.

It said an independent body should also be put in place to ensure standards are being met.

The report estimates that 15.5 million households, or almost 30m adults, with incomes above £15,000 but below £50,000, at which point they are more likely to use a financial adviser, could benefit from the products.

It said some 9.7m households, or almost 20m adults, fall within the target market for simplified life cover alone.

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.”

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