FSA focuses on need for UK financial literacy

30 May 2003
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is reportedly looking into ways of improving Britons' financial literacy.

The FSA regulates financial services products and also has a statutory duty to promote public understanding of the financial system.

John Tiner, head of the FSA's consumer, investment and insurance directorate, told the Financial Times, 'We shall be carrying out a consultation exercise in the summer to look at improving financial literacy.'
The majority of UK consumers have a poor grasp of financial services and have repeatedly been duped into buying unsuitable products.

In recent years a swathe of accusations of mis-selling of financial products, particularly pensions and split capital investment trusts. Corporate scandals along the lines of Enron have not helped to improve consumer confidence.

The FSA has held one-off seminars among staff at large employers in the past to improve financial literacy and could look at something along the same lines, the FT reports.

A report last year by Ron Sandler for Chancellor Gordon Brown on the long-term savings industry called for much greater efforts to educate the nation financially.