But the Panel has expressed its disappointment that the FSA has decided not to prohibit the use of monetary values in financial promotions altogether. The Panel believes that there is strong evidence that the inclusion of monetary values in promotional material has the potential to mislead consumers.
The FSA’s approach is counter to its own research findings, which showed that although consumers liked to see real money examples, there was evidence of some consumers misinterpreting the information. The Panel believes that the value of the standardised data could be significantly undermined by the inclusion of monetary values elsewhere in an advertisement.
The FSA research1 said: " Despite the appeal and preference for monetary values over percentages there was clear evidence of their potential misuse when assessing a fund."
Ann Foster, Chairman of the Panel said:
"Allowing the use of some monetary values in financial promotions is a recipe for confusion that could lead to problems in the future. We would have preferred to see the FSA acting on its own research findings and prohibiting the use of monetary values altogether."