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FSA Investigates Lehman Structured Product Sales

The FSA and Financial Ombudsman Service said in a press release yeasterday they have jointly concluded that Lehman Brothers’ insolvency raises issues in the UK structured products market.

The release said: “As a result, while the Ombudsman has been investigating a number of individual complaints, the FSA has been actively looking at the wider issues raised in this market.”

The FSA and Ombudsman have agreed that the regulatory options available to the FSA would be one way of reducing consumer detriment, as well as potentially being able to deal with the concerns of more consumers than those who have complained to the Ombudsman.

Therefore, they have agreed that the FSA will now consider issues relating to Lehman-backed structured products under the “wider implications” process, in order to allow the FSA to explore all options to achieve the best outcome for consumers.

Many in the industry concede clients have not been well served by structured product providers, particularly in the retail market where fees are notoriously high. “As much as 80% of the structured products world doesn’t deliver good value to investors,” says Chris Taylor, chief executive of Blue Sky Asset Management, speaking to Wealth Bulletin last year.