It's the Products, Stupid!

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

In a world where nearly four out of ten adults feel they don’t understand investment products, David Lee calls for greater clarity and simplicity in product design. Financial institutions need to produce what the customer wants – not what the companies want to sell.
In a recent survey carried out by Defaqto, 46% of adults said they did not want, nor felt they would ever need, advice from an independent financial adviser. This suggests that financial products are either so selfexplanatory and easy to understand that no advice is necessary – or that there are other factors at work discouraging people from seeking expert advice.
In the financial services market at present there are many positive factors in play, suggesting that the industry is in for a period of unparalleled opportunity and growth. For example, we know that the State will gradually withdraw from the provision of anything approaching adequate retirement pensions, despite what is said to the contrary.
There is a huge gap in the protection market between what is actually in place and what is needed. At the same time, the government is beginning to take some responsibility for the financial competence of the public through a series of initiatives focused on schools and the work of the Financial Services Authority.
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