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Industry group set up to improve transparency

Industry group set up to improve transparency

A group of financial services individuals have joined to build a Transparency Task Force aimed at increasing trust in the industry.

A meeting was held in London yesterday (1 July) to explain why the timing for such a body is so important and what it will mean to be an active member of the group.

Andy Agathangelou, founding chair of the Friends of Auto Enrolment, is also now the founding chair of the Transparency Task Force and led the meeting.

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He said: “We believe that high levels of transparency are a prerequisite for fairer, safer and more efficient financial services markets that deliver value for money.”

According to his statement, the group is for people who want to help financial services become more trustworthy; accelerate the rate at which the market becomes more transparent; work collaboratively with like-minded people; discuss contentious issues in a safe environment and help achieve the best outcomes possible for customers of financial services.

In terms of why the formation is important now, Mr Agathangelou explained that there is growing public sentiment for greater transparency; consumer groups are willing and able to champion the cause; that the media is increasingly well-informed about opaqueness and that technology enables granular-level analysis and comparison.

He argued that transparency is now being recognised by some players in the market as a commercial virtue and that regulatory activity in this space is increasing internationally.

The provisional plan of action included 18 proposed teams, covering a host of topics.

These included data, reporting and benchmarking; transaction costs and charges; communications best practice; regulatory liaison; rationale for decision making; researching barriers to transparency; asset holdings issues; terms and conditions issues; environmental, social and governance issues.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com