The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has called on the UK’s finance sector to ensure that consumers are being accurately informed about the various products available to them as they surf the internet.
Around a quarter of all the financial service firms’ websites assessed by the FSA recently fell foul of the authority’s criteria for the presentation of information to online consumers.
Standards in this respect are improving, the FSA makes clear, but the organisation is keen to ensure that internet users are not risking debt management problems by entering financial arrangements without seeking appropriate advice.
“For many people the internet is the channel of choice for shopping around for financial products,” remarked Dan Waters, director of retail policy and themes for the FSA.
“However, it can expose consumers to high risk as they are able to make instant purchases without advice. This is why it is so important that firms’ websites are fair, clear and not misleading.”
Earlier this week, the FSA revealed its intention to clampdown on mortgage brokers in the UK whose advice is sub-standard and could be putting consumers at risk of debt management disaster.