Professionalism and transparency 'key' in retail distribution

21 December 2007 / by None
Retail distribution should be underpinned by professionalism and transparency, an industry body has urged.

According to the Investment Management Association (IMA), the desire of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to establish high professional standards is a welcome move.

The IMA said professionalism is "key to improving advice" and to help restore the confidence and trust of consumers.

It added that transparency across investment products is "critical" in order to clarify to consumers what they are paying for and also to help tackle "commission-bias".

IMA director of authorised funds and taxation Julie Patterson suggested commission-driven mis-selling exists in the retail advice market, while professional standards are inconsistent.

However, she warned that "simply adding to the complexity of labels" is not enough to tackle the issue.

Ms Patterson welcomed the FSA's "commitment" to improve standards and transparency, adding that this will help tackle mis-selling and "give consumers assurance that they are getting the best advice possible".

The IMA represents the UK's investment management industry and its members represent 99 per cent of the funds under management in UK-authorised investment funds.

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