ABI fund sector review will improve customer clarity

The ABI is to review the purpose and function of the ABI Fund Sectors. These categorise different types of investment fund, allowing consumers and financial advisers to compare funds with similar investment profiles against each other. While the ABI does not collect or publish performance data of individual sectors or funds, the ABI Sector classifications allow other organisations to do just this, for comparison purposes.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:

“The ABI Sectors categorise similar investment funds, enabling consumers and advisers to compare their performance. However, the current economic crisis has highlighted the need for a fundamental review of the ABI Sectors to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of consumers and advisers as risk changes. That review is already underway, with the strong backing of ABI members.

“The first stage is to examine closely the Money Market sector and propose options for reform. This will be completed quickly. The second stage will look at all the other ABI Sectors.

“This review shows our determination to act in the interests of consumers, and is a positive step forward for customers of the insurance industry and their financial advisers. Alongside it, we have repeated our expectation that all communications with customers about investment funds should be clear and transparent about the types of assets held in those funds and the level of risk they carry.”

All relevant bodies will be consulted in the course of the review, including the IMA, FSA, AIFA, consumer organisations and data analysis companies.

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)
Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)
Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. Full details of the current ABI Fund Sectors are available at www.abi.org.uk/fundsectors

3. The ABI is the voice of the insurance and investment industry. Its members constitute over 90 per cent of the insurance market in the UK and 20 per cent across the EU. They control assets equivalent to a quarter of the UK’s capital. They are the risk managers of the UK’s economy and society. Through the ABI their voice is heard in Government and in public debate on insurance, savings and investment matters.

4. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.