MSE News: Consumers risk being sold wrong products, says FSA report

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
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Former_MSE_HelenFormer_MSE_Helen
2.4K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Consumers searching for the best deals face a 'major risk' of being sold financial products they do not need ..."

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  • ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    It is unfortunate that we all need to treat our financial institutions with the same suspicion as we would the "spiv" at the local second-hand car dealer.

    I'd like to see a credit-checking database where financial institutions can be credit-checked by the public before entrusting their money. The institutions should have to pay a fee to access this database to check it for accuracy and the public should be entitled to ignore any mitigating circumstances the bank offers to explain itself.

    Guess I'll just have to dream on . . .
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • opinions4uopinions4u
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    "There was general consensus that financial services providers are too proactive in terms of sales, often employing 'pushy' sales tactics regardless of the consumer's situation or mindset."
    This is very true. I'll not forget the day my area manager shouted at me for not having rung (cool-called) a certain number of customers the previous week. When I pointed out to him that my branch was heaving day in day out with customers and I was focusing my time and effort on serving them he remained unimpressed.

    Oddly, I still had the best sales results in his area depsite not having made those calls to drive sales.
    Scripting in call centres is often seen as a "barrier" to effectively solving problems and complaints, the report says.
    Regulation makes scripting a no-brainer for most companies. Without it they wouldn't be compliant. It also serves an !!!-covering purpose.
  • edited 14 March 2012 at 2:19PM
    SnowManSnowMan Forumite
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    edited 14 March 2012 at 2:19PM
    The FSA press release can be found here

    The report itself can then be found from that press release by clicking on the hyperlink Retail Conduct Risk Outlook (RCRO) which is located under 'Notes for Editors' at the bottom, or a direct link to the report itself is here.
    I came, I saw, I melted
  • "Scripting in call centres is often seen as a "barrier" to effectively solving problems and complaints, the report says."

    This is purely in place to cover their arses from you phoning up in a weeks time to say I was mis-sold!
  • oldvicaroldvicar Forumite
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    The FSA is right that consumers do end up with the wrong or unnecessary products.

    But in many cases I think this is due to mis-buying as much as mis-selling.

    The risk of mis-selling/mis-buying financial products could be helped if people adopted the same strategy as dealing with the risk of being run over whilst crossing the road: "Look all around, and listen".

    Curbing sharp practice in selling financial products is one thing. Regulating them to the extent that the provider is responsible for the customer's choice and precisely matching their needs is going a bit too far (IMHO)

    If we had the same rigour applied in other markets the only colours of paint B&Q would stock would be a range of nice safe 'magnolia', and car salesmen would stop people wasting their money on flashy cars and extras they don't need. Maybe the only car on sale, if you could get one, would be a lovely standard Trabant ....
  • magpiecottagemagpiecottage
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    I think a lot of the problem is CAUSED by the FSA.

    It allows complaints to be made from many years ago when firms can no longer defend themselves for the advice given and changes rules retrospectively.

    Then it allows fraudulent complaints to be made with impunity.

    That in turn forces advisers to spend most of their time attempting to defend themselves and forces up their charges.

    Then consumers "save" money by choosing for themselves and get upset because they find out too late they have not bought what they thought they had bought.

    It is also worth remembering that at the moment the FSA faces major upheaval and plenty of people there could lose their jobs - so reports that apparently justify their own existence may be self-serving.
  • ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    oldvicar wrote: »
    But in many cases I think this is due to mis-buying as much as mis-selling.
    I haven't heard of any cases of high-pressure mis-buying, however.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • ses6jwgses6jwg Forumite
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    I think most branch staff would welcome less pressure on sales, but sadly the dismantling of many banks investment arms has put masses more pressure on their retail arms.

    So now an 18 year old cashier on £6.50 an hour is often under as much pressure as a middle manager in the public sector.
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