FCA To Examine Price Comparison Websites

Thematic Review To Assess Operations Of Such Services


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a thematic review into price comparison websites (PCWs) and several on insurance providers to assess how the process works to get consumers the best possible deal.

As part of the review, the FCA will carry out an in-depth consumer survey to understand the general public view of such websites and examine revenue generation, check for conflicts of interest and also consider the use of consumer data.

The review will focus on motor, travel and home insurance, and the FCA will also engage with trade bodies, other regulators and consumer groups.

It is anticipated that the results of the review, including any action which PCWs will be expected to take, will be published next year.

News of the launch of the thematic review has come after the FCA published the results of another review into asset management firms and fund administrators, which suggested some organisations do not have effective anti-money laundering and corruption measures in place.

Expert Opinion
Price comparison websites have grown to be a key tool for consumers who are seeking out the best possible deals on insurance and other products.

"This review will rightly put the area under some scrutiny to fully understand the operation of such services and whether there is any scope to make improvements in terms of the information and pricing which consumers are given.

"The findings will be very important in terms of ensuring consumers are getting the best deals available to them and we look forward to seeing the results which the FCA publishes in 2014."
Sarah Wallace, Partner