Financial groups team up for industry standard

Ten Individual Savings Account providers are jointly developing a logo, the Cat mark, to let consumers know their products conform to certain criteria.

Virgin Direct is spearheading the initiative to promise low account charges (C), instant access (A) and no hidden terms (T) on the ISAs, launched last week to replace PEP and TESSA savings schemes.

A number of preliminary designs, some tested in press ads, have been developed by in-house teams at the ten companies concerned. These include a feline figure, a tick and Cat spelt out, but Virgin Direct marketing manager Gordon Maw says the group is looking for a standard insignia.

“We have met with all the other Cat providers and agreed with nine others [on a joint logo]. We are consulting with our trade associations to get their weight behind the idea. Then we will decide if we need to take it outside [to consultancies],” he says.

The other companies reported to be involved are Marks & Spencer Financial Services, Royal & Sun Alliance, Scottish Widows, Sun Bank, Standard Life, Direct Line, B2, and Fidelity. A further dozen companies subscribe to the Cat mark standards, but are not currently involved in discussions.

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