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March 12, 2010

Watchdogs propose consumer protection committee

by Gill Montia

Story link: Watchdogs propose consumer protection committee

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) want to boost public confidence in the UK’s financial services sector by setting up a consumer protection committee.

The proposed committee would identify emerging risks that could turn into widespread problems, and act “quickly and decisively” in dealing with any threats.

However, it would not examine and give clearance to specific products before they are launched.

The regulator’s director of conduct policy, Sheila Nicoll, says: “The co-ordination committee is a clear indication of the intention, and will, of the authorities to work even more closely together to improve the experience of consumers, and to avoid problems happening in the first place.”

The OFT’s director of consumer credit, Ray Watson, adds: ” We believe that the proposals for a new co-ordination committee and the focus on risk will improve our ability to deal with problems before they become widespread.”

Interim chief ombudsman, David Thomas, concludes: “It’s key for regulators and the ombudsman service to continue working closely together to identify potential problems as soon as they emerge, to ensure that consumers are treated fairly and can have confidence in financial services.”

Comments on any of the matters raised in a discussion paper on the proposals should be with the FSA by 10th June 2010.

 

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