Justice must be seen to be done in financial services
16 May 2011
The Financial Services Consumer Panel welcomes today's publication by the FSA of its decision to take enforcement action against two individuals Stuart Unwin and Derek Wright1.
The Consumer Panel has previously called for greater transparency and disclosure of information by the regulator. The publication of decision notices2 is a significant but limited step in achieving these goals.
The Panel was a strong supporter of the changes to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA)3 in 2010 which gave the FSA the power to be more open in relation to enforcement action.
Adam Phillips commented:
"We welcome the use of the new power. In any other area of law those charged with an offence can normally be identified. Financial services should be no different.
Consumers have the right to know about the level and type of complaints made against financial services providers. Only when consumers are empowered with enough of the right sort of information can they choose firms which will treat them fairly."
- The FSA's press release is available on the FSA website.
- A decision notice is part of the FSA's enforcement process and is issued when the FSA decides to take action against someone. In the past these have only been made public when any right of referral or appeal has been exhausted. The FSA's enforcement process typically takes 18 months from the FSA first learning of the misconduct and there can be a further delay of 9 months for any referral or possible appeal. The Consumer Panel have argued that this means consumers are potentially kept in the dark for years.
- The new powers were added to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by the amendment of s391 by the Financial Services Act 2010.
- The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FSA Board on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FSA's performance in meeting its objectives.
- The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FSA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FSA's remi
- From the 1st April 2011 there are fifteen members of the Panel as listed below. Panel members are appointed to serve a maximum of two terms of three years. Further information on individual members.