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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
New advice on payment protection
FSA headquarters
The regulator will publish advice on buying PPI next year
New advice for people who think they may need payment protection insurance (PPI) will be published on the City regulator's website next year.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) will publish tables which compare various PPI policies.

The insurance is supposed to help people make repayments on mortgages, credit cards or bank loans if they fall ill or lose their jobs.

However, the insurance has been widely criticised in the past two years.

"There is currently little information available to help consumers shop around," said the FSA.

Under fire

The selling of PPI polices is hugely lucrative for banks and other financial institutions.

However, research by consumer bodies such as Citizens' Advice, the Office of Fair Trading, and the FSA itself, has shown it has been widely mis-sold.

The result has been that many customers have bought policies they do not need, or which are unlikely to payout, either because the customers do not qualify for cover or because the policies are riddled with exclusions in the small print.

The regulator recently warned that it would step up its action against firms mis-selling the insurance and start levying bigger fines than in the past.

The FSA's website will ask people questions to refine what sort of insurance cover they really need, then steer them towards tables of potentially suitable policies.

The FSA says customers can then compare these with any policies they may be being offered elsewhere.

The tables will be published next March.

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