HM Treasury

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13 March 2013

Simple financial products a step closer

A set of simple financial products designed to help consumers navigate the financial services market more easily is a step closer today, following publication of final recommendations by an independent steering group set up by the Government to look at this issue.

The group, chaired by Carol Sergeant, was asked to look at how financial products such as savings accounts and life insurance products could be simplified. It has published its final report following consultation with a wide range of consumer groups and industry representatives.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, said:

“People need to be able to manage their everyday finances with confidence and ease. The products outlined in this report represent a milestone towards achieving this, and I am impressed with the way that such a diverse group of organisations has worked together to develop them.

“The challenge now is to ensure that the work that has gone into the Sergeant Review is transformed into tangible changes for consumers, and I look forward to discussing progress made with the industry and consumer groups next year.”

Steering Group Chair, Carol Sergeant, said:

“We have known for a long time that being able to manage your finances effectively leads to increased well-being and a better quality of life, at every given level of income. I hope that the simple financial products initiative will make it easier for people to understand and compare the key financial products they need and make good choices with confidence. The recommendations have the full support of consumer and industry representatives, Government, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Money Advice Service, and my thanks go to the very many people who have been involved with this project.

“It is now really important to make the recommendations a reality.”

The report’s eight final recommendations are:

  1. an easy access savings account;
  2. a 30-day notice savings account;
  3. a regular savings account; and
  4. a fixed term life insurance product.

The report also proposes five next steps:

HM Treasury will organise a progress review of simple financial products in twelve months.

Notes for Editors

  1. The final report is available in full online in our Independent Reviews section
  2. Over 50 organisations have been involved in the Sergeant Review, including trade associations, financial services providers, regulators, government departments, consumer groups, research bodies and consultants.
  3. Carol Sergeant has held a range of senior positions in both the public and private sector, including at the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and Lloyds Banking Group. She currently chairs the whistle blowing charity Public Concern at Work and holds a number of non-executive director positions.

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