Cicero to work alongside lenders’ industry body

DWS Investments, part of Deutsche Bank Group, is joining forces with seven other leading lenders to launch an industry body aimed at preventing a repeat of the recent spate of mis-selling scandals that have hit credit cards, mortgage companies and banks.

Future Finance, comprising insurers, lenders and fund managers, will officially launch in the New Year to improve the way lenders market and design financial products, educate consumers and encourage greater debate among policy makers.

Cicero Consulting will co-ordinate a public affairs campaign for the group.

No other members of the group have yet agreed to be disclosed.

Future Finance will hold its first semi-official gathering, a roundtable event in the House of Commons, on 14 December to discuss the implications of a recent Commons Treasury Select Committee report on restoring public confidence in long-term savings.

At a Commons Treasury Select Committee meeting last month, banks were heavily criticised when it emerged that excessive fees for borrowing and late repayments could be costing credit-card customers millions of pounds every year.

Cicero will aim to open a dialogue between Future Finance and key government departments, such as the Treasury, as well as the Financial Services Authority.

‘We are overseeing the whole campaign but output will be determined by the group itself,’ said Cicero director Mark Twigg.

He added: ‘Many [group members] will be running campaigns next year. We will provide an industry-wide platform to raise the profile of that work.’

MPs will be a key audience for the campaign. Twigg said: ‘Levels of awareness among politicians of how these services operate is typically low.’

MPs on the committee said they have also become concerned about the rise of fee charging at ATM machines.

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