- Industry needs its own trade body, says MoneyExpert.com
Leading financial comparison website MoneyExpert.com supports Resolution Foundation’s recommendation for a voluntary code of practice for the industry, and called for one to be established last year. It believes that a code of practice will provide valuable protection for consumers and enable the market to grow even faster as people would feel more confident about using comparison sites.
And MoneyExpert.com is also calling on other major finance comparison companies to set up a trade body which would help establish best practice throughout the sector and provide a single and cohesive voice for the industry on major relevant issues.
Chief executive Sean Gardner is writing to other leading companies inviting them to meet to discuss the way forward for the industry.
He said: "Comparison sites receive millions of visits every week and as they cover more products and services they are becoming increasingly popular. Indeed, the number of hits to comparison websites in the past year is 22 per cent up on the previous year according to analysts Clear Capital.
"A code of practice will help it grow further because customers need to know that the services they are using are robust and comprehensive. Comparison services should be confident enough in their propositions to sign up to a code.
"We are keen to play our part and to help ensure that the industry develops a charter and that a trade body is developed. I am personally writing to all other major aggregator sites urging that we all meet to discuss this development."
MoneyExpert.com believes that any code of practice developed should at least include the following features:
- Observe transparency on providers’ fees and charges
- Focus on more than just price. Product features and service measures should also be included
- Provide best-buy tables that are truly comprehensive and uncontaminated by incentives to aggregators
- Give more advice to customers – making the services open to more than just the financially savvy
- Offer a credit rating service which will allow consumers to have a better idea of which products they can – and cannot – apply for.
- Warn customers about potential damage to credit ratings by making too many applications
- Provide health warnings about products
- Provide specialist support for the less well-off and those with poor credit records
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