Commenting on the publication of the FCA's thematic review into comparison sites, James Daley, managing director of consumer group Fairer Finance, said:

"While price comparison sites have been a great innovation for consumers, they have also created a number of new problems in the insurance market. Insurers regularly remove elements of cover or add on extra charges and fees so that they can offer the most competitive headline price - but most customers remain oblivious to the differences between policies.

"While the FCA acknowledges these serious problems, it has stopped short of recommending any solutions. Customers need to be asked a greater number of questions up front, so that they can be sure that they are comparing policies which meet their needs. The FCA's loose calls for greater transparency simply don't go far enough towards addressing this issue.

"An increasing number of people are sleep-walking into insurance products which aren't suitable for them - and only find out when it's too late and their claim is rejected. This is not a problem that the comparison sites can be left to solve on their own, and the publication of today's thematic review is a missed opportunity for the FCA."

Notes to Editors