New regulator heralds an era of more effective consumer protection

1 April 2013

The Financial Services Consumer Panel today strongly welcomed the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Panel believes that the FCA has the powers needed to introduce an era of more effective regulation as its operational objectives give it a strong consumer protection mandate.

The Consumer Panel is expecting:

  • A renewed and meaningful focus by the FCA on ensuring the industry treats its customers fairly;
  • Higher penalties to remove firms’ incentive to engage in practices damaging to consumers and to act as a clear deterrent to firms who may decide to copy them;
  • Vigorous deployment of analytical resources, rule-making and enforcement powers to promote effective competition which delivers real value to consumers;
  • A commitment to making sure everyone can get access to the financial services they need; and
  • Effective prioritisation so that the new regulator is not overstretched and can focus on key emerging risks and the root causes of consumer detriment.

Adam Phillips, Consumer Panel Chair commented:

“It has taken three years to translate the Government’s ideas on regulatory reform into the reality of the new FCA. With its enhanced consumer protection mandate, we expect the FCA to build on the FSA’s recent work and introduce an era of effective consumer protection. We have already been encouraged by Martin Wheatley’s bold statements and the new organisation’s commitment to taking a more forthright approach to regulation.

Financial services are an essential part of modern life. Experience has shown that robust regulation is needed to ensure consumers get a fair deal. The FCA has the powers to make a real difference to consumer protection. The Panel will be watching its progress closely and urging it to ensure consumers get a financial services industry that acts in their best interests.”

 

Notes to editors

  1. The Consumer Panel’s response to the FSA’s Journey to the FCA consultation is available here
  2. Biographical details for Adam Phillips and photographs in a range of resolutions are available on our website: http://www.fs-cp.org.uk/about_us/adam_phillips.shtml
  3. The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services Act 2012. It was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FSA on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FSA's performance in meeting its objectives.
  4. The Panel’s membership is drawn from a broad range of backgrounds with expertise including market research, law, financial services industry, financial inclusion, European Regulation, financial regulation, consumer advice, campaigning, communications, compliance and later-life issues.
  5. 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 remit. More information about the Panel's work is available on our website.
Monday, 1 April 2013