New research has shown that 70 per cent of people in the UK use comparison websites when choosing financial products. But do they always offer the best deals?
The same survey commissioned by YouGov and carried out by Equifax, the consumer and business insights expert, also showed that 38 per cent of people believed that they always get the best deal by using comparison websites.
However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is not so sure and it has recently launched a market study into digital comparison tools (DCTs), including comparison websites.
The study intends to assess if arrangements between DCTs and their suppliers could be restricting competition. They are also considering whether consumers would benefit from an awareness of how these DCTs and comparison websites actually earn their income.
Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Equifax Europe, Paul Birks, said: ‘Question marks have been raised over whether or not consumers ultimately get the best deal through aggregator websites. These sites are a great example of how the financial services industry is using technology and data to make consumers? lives easier, and also have an important role in ensuring the products they promote are relevant to individual circumstances and not biased to certain providers.’
He continued: ‘This research highlights the trust consumers place in comparison websites, which are very popular and highly rated by consumers when searching, comparing and switching financial products.
‘People deserve to be given transparent, clear information on the best deals available for their needs, so we welcome the CMA investigation and hope the end result will mean more transparency and a better fit of products for consumers.’