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FSA successor must ‘act more swiftly’, says consumer panel

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30/07/2012
The incoming Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must "act more swiftly" than its predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and ensure it utilises the full powers at its disposal, a body representing consumer interests has recommended.
FSA successor must ‘act more swiftly’, says consumer panel

The suggestions are part of six recommendations put forward by the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP).

The FCA will be one half of the replacement twin-peak set-up – the other organisation being the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The FCA’s recommendations are based on its review of the FSA’s conduct regulation regime.

Recommendations include; act more swiftly; making effective use of consumer and market intelligence and utilising the full suite of powers.

They also suggest the FCA prioritises risk and effectively uses resources; delivers a credible deterrence; and embeds foresight in the FCA’s culture.

Adam Phillips, chair of the FSCP, said: “We hope that these recommendations will assist the FCA in developing a conduct regulation regime which is more effective in protecting consumers.

“We have seen so many financial scandals in recent years where the FSA has been on the back foot. It cannot be right that considerable consumer detriment has built up before the FSA is able or willing to act.”

He added the FCA had to be smarter in using intelligence, solve problems faster and be bolder in its actions.

The panel’s review concentrated on three areas of FSA activity: PPI replacement products, packaged bank accounts and the impact of incentives or reward strategy.

It found that the FSA had often acted too slowly to stop consumer harm despite significant concerns being raised.

Phillips said: “The FCA has the potential to deliver a revolution in consumer protection. However, this potential will only be realised if it can learn the lessons from the FSA’s experience of conduct regulation.”

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