True to form, MPs were full of sound and fury yesterday, calling on the Financial Services Authority "do something" about the supposed mis-selling of Personal Protection Insurance - the trade name for policies that pay off an unsecured loan if the borrower falls ill or becomes unemployed.
Some blatant abuses were highlighted the other day - an elderly pensioner persuaded to buy a policy where the small print specifically ruled out claims by anybody over 65 and so on.
Yesterday, it was pointed out that some of these policies are so expensive that they can more than double the cost of the loan.
That is deplorable. What nobody queries is how it is possible to sell such policies at all without mis-selling. They suffer from a built-in flaw. In the event of a claim the lender gets the money, not the borrower - but the borrower pays the premiums.
There is nothing the FSA can "do" that will ever going to remove that basic conflict of interest.
We are not talking about mortgages, where a borrower may well feel it is worth paying a (sometimes exorbitant) premium to reduce the risk of losing his home if things go wrong. Nor are we are talking about permanent health policies which provide an individual with an allpurpose income if he becomes unable to work - though the terms of these can be very tightly worded.
An unsecured loan is altogether different. It is the lender who is at risk. That is why it costs more than a mortgage.
A borrower may well be persuaded that he is doing the prudent thing by taking out one of these policies and, in a sense, he is. He insures himself and his family against the persistent attentions of debt collectors, or, if the worst comes to the worst, the consequences of going bankrupt, though these are less dire nowadays than they were.
But in terms of cold financial benefit there is nothing in it for him.
So what should the FSA "do"? Ban these policies altogether? Well, some borrowers probably do value the peace of mind.
Then would NatWest, for instance, really be offering unsecured credit at 7.4 per cent without the prospect of selling a highly priced insurance policy to some of the people who take it up?
A website called uSwitch.com claimed yesterday that insurance could have the effect of raising the cost of one of those 7.4 per cent loans to 18.7 per cent.
If the FSA bans the insurance the credit will doubtless cost more for everyone.
Or it could order a wealth warning to go on every application form alongside the space for the borrower's signature:
IF YOU MAKE A CLAIM ON THIS P0LICY, HOWEVER VALID, YOU WILL NEVER SEE A PENNY. ALL THE MONEY WILL GO STRAIGHT TO PAY OFF YOUR LOAN.
And what difference will that make? Ask the tobacco companies.
You can never prove it, but I suspect the uncomfortable truth is the same as it was with mortgage endowments. The sales person takes care not to say it, but the borrower gets the idea that he is not going to get the loan unless he buys the policy.