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FCA review finds comparison sites wanting

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16/07/2014
Price comparison websites did not always give consumers the information needed to make informed decisions, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a review published today.
FCA review finds comparison sites wanting

This is particularly important in the insurance sector, according to the FCA, because of concern that headline price and brand would distract from crucial product features like policy coverage and terms.

According to the FCA failure to provide clear information increases the risk that consumers may buy products without fully understanding the terms and conditions attached. In addition some consumer believed – wrongly – that the comparison site had already assessed the suitability of policies.

Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: “Our review found that comparison sites were not meeting our requirements in delivering fair and consistent outcomes for consumers. We also found, through our consumer research, that consumers had a number of misconceptions about the services they provided.

“We expect price comparison websites to take on board the findings of the review. It is also important for consumers to understand that not all products are the same and the cheapest product may not always be the best for their needs.”

Michael Ward, managing director of www.PayingTooMuch.com, said: “We certainly support the FCA’s review, in particular the concern that consumers are focused on headline pricing and brand distracting them from crucial product coverage and terms. With travel insurance, the cheapest policy is no good if people do not disclose their pre-existing medical conditions when buying as this can result in serious disappointment at the time they need to claim.”

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