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Principles of Financial Regulation$
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John Armour, Dan Awrey, Paul Davies, Luca Enriques, Jeffrey N. Gordon, Colin Mayer, and Jennifer Payne

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786474.001.0001

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Financial Products

Financial Products

Chapter:
(p.245) 12 Financial Products
Source:
Principles of Financial Regulation
Author(s):

John Armour

Dan Awrey

Paul Davies

Luca Enriques

Jeffrey N. Gordon

Colin Mayer

Jennifer Payne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786474.003.0012

Financial products are contracts offered by financial-sector firms with a view to meeting the financial needs of their customers. This chapter first reviews common types of retail financial product (both old, like investment funds, and new, including structured products and exchange traded funds), and then considers the principal regulatory strategies to protect consumers of these products. Traditionally, regulation has focused on disclosure, intended to enable consumers to make better decisions. However, disclosures alone are often insufficient to improve consumers’ financial decision-making, as consumers often simply do not take them into account. A more interventionist approach to this concern is to regulate the terms of the product directly: product regulation. However, this is fraught with difficulties, owing to the heterogeneity of consumer preferences and the context-sensitivity of prescriptions for improving outcomes. A third approach, product governance, which focuses on the procedures firms develop for product design, appears to hold more promise.

Keywords:   financial products, investment funds, structured products, exchange traded funds, disclosure, product regulation, product governance

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