HM Treasury has updated its webpage that covers the simple products initiative by posting a joint letter from industry associations concerning progress made following the publication of the Sergeant Review of Simple Financial Products: Final Report.

The letter (from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the British Bankers Association and the Building Societies Association) discusses the work that has taken place to put in place a simple products accreditation process. It notes that following discussions with the British Standards Institution and the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), the decision has been made to opt for the TSI approach and use its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

The letter then briefly discusses what the TSI approach would entail. This would include the industry setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC) to produce a code suitable for simple products which would reflect simple product principles and contain product standards.

The letter also describes a number of workstreams that are progressing in addition to the accreditation framework. This includes the ABI working on a potential income replacement product, which would be purchased by employers to provide cover through the workplace. The objective is for a draft specification to be produced, and sent out for public consultation in April 2014.

HM Treasury has also published its response to the letter welcoming the work conducted to date by the industry associations and the commitment to establish an accreditation framework by the end of the year. HM Treasury asks for a further update on progress later this summer.

View HM Treasury web page – Simple financial products, 19 March 2014