Clarifying the stance
In the FSA’s original Policy Statement 04/09 relating to the collection of this data, we made a commitment to publish aggregate level Product Sales Data and we fully intend to do so.
We recognise there are many benefits to both consumers and the financial services industry from the publication of Product Sales Data and we intend to publish our top level analysis when we have sufficient data to accurately identify market movements and trends.
Certain items of Product Sales Data are confidential and of a commercially sensitive nature, which prohibits us from publishing all of the data. However, it is our intention to publish, and make available, data at an aggregated level, giving market analysis, trend data and market volumes. We will not, of course, be publishing detailed information relating to individual firms in the market.
Robin Gordon-Walker’s comments quoted in your article were made in reference to the publication of data relating to individual firms, and not the aggregate level information we will publish.
The FSA has been collecting this data for 12 months and is already using individual items in its supervision of small firms. We intend to publish some details of our analysis of aggregate data in early 2007, and plan to do so in a format that will be useful to inform both the industry and consumers. We do not see ourselves being in a position to publish data before then as we need to be confident with the robustness of the data received and, in order for us to see what changes are taking place in the market, we will need at least 12-15 months worth of data to undertake the necessary analysis and draw the relevant conclusions.
Director of small firms division
Financial Services Authority