Terms of Reference

FINANCIAL SERVICES CONSUMER PANEL

TERMS OF REFERENCE

1. The Financial Services Consumer Panel (‘the Panel’) was established by the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to represent the interests of consumers.

 

Scope

2. The Panel represents the interests of all groups of financial services consumers.

3. The Panel provides advice and challenge to the FCA on the extent to which the FCA’s general policies and practices are consistent with its general duties, as required under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

4. The Panel focuses on the FCA’s strategic and operational objectives, together with the expectations on the FCA to discharge its general functions in a way which promotes competition in the interests of consumers and to have regard to the regulatory principles.

5. The Panel operates independently of the FCA. The emphasis of its work is on activities that are regulated by the FCA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities that are not regulated but are related to the FCA’s general duties.

 

Membership

6. The FCA Board appoints Panel members, with HM Treasury’s approval required for the appointment or dismissal of the Chair.

7. The FCA may appoint to the Panel such consumers, or persons representing the interests of consumers, as it considers appropriate.

8. The FCA must secure that membership of the Panel is such as to give a fair degree of representation to those who are using, or are or may be contemplating using, services other than in connection with business carried on by them. Members of the Panel are recruited through a process of open competition and encompass a broad range of relevant expertise and experience. Panel members will normally serve a maximum of two three-year terms.

 

The Panel’s Duties

9. The Panel will:

9.1 Meet regularly and be available for consultation by the FCA on specific high-level issues.

9.2 Be active in bringing to the attention of the FCA issues which are likely to be of significance to consumers.

9.3 Commission such research as it considers necessary in order to help it to fulfil its duties under these terms of reference. 9.4 Request access to information from the FCA which it reasonably requires to carry out its work.

9.5 Request regular access to the FCA Chairman, Board, Chief Executive and senior executives of the FCA.

9.6 Give the FCA sufficient prior warning of new consumer issues that the Panel is putting in the public domain (“no surprises”).

9.7 Maintain the confidentiality of information provided to the Panel by the FCA.

 

FCA Duties

10. The FCA will:

10.1 Consult the Panel throughout its deliberations on policies and practices that have a consumer impact.

10.2 Consider representations made to it by the Consumer Panel, and must from time to time publish in such a manner as it thinks fit, responses to the representations.

10.3 Provide a secretariat to support the Panel to enable it to operate effectively.

10.4 Agree with the Panel an annual budget sufficient for the Panel to fulfil its duties under these terms of reference.

10.5 Provide the Panel with prompt access to all information which the Panel reasonably requires in order to fulfil its duties.

10.6 Give the Panel reasonable access to the FCA Chairman, Board, Chief Executive and senior executives of the FCA.

10.7 Give sufficient prior notice of new consumer issues that the FCA is putting in the public domain (“no surprises”).

 

Accountability

11. The Panel will publish an annual report on its work, which will be presented to the FCA Board.

12. The Panel may speak out publicly when it wishes to draw attention to matters in the public interest.

13. The Panel will report informally on its work to HM Treasury and other stakeholders.

 

You can download the Consumer Panel Terms of Reference in PDF format here.