Protecting consumers

Discover how we protect consumers from the harm that can be caused by bad conduct in the financial services industry.

From bank accounts to mortgages, credit cards, loans, savings and pensions, virtually every adult in the UK is a consumer of financial services. So one of our objectives is to ensure an appropriate degree of protection for all consumers. 

We work to protect consumers in a wide range of ways. We act to ensure firms have their customers at the heart of how they do business, give them appropriate products and services, and put their protection above the firms’ own profits or income.

We monitor which firms and individuals are able to enter the financial markets, making sure they meet our standards before we authorise them.

We supervise how firms work and can stop those that don’t meet our standards from carrying out the activities we regulate.

Where we find that firms are not following our rules, we intervene. This may mean imposing penalties, stopping them trading or securing redress for consumers. It also means ensuring consumers receive the information they need in the right way, so they can make the best decisions for themselves.

Our crime prevention work includes our ScamSmart campaign, which targets people most at risk of investment fraud. It provides tools to help investors actively check investments they have been offered out of the blue. We also encourage consumers to report to us when they see potential harm or bad conduct. And we work with a network of consumer organisations to raise awareness of our campaigns and our remit, and to help inform our approach to regulation.

Consumer protection also helps supports healthy competition and integrity in the financial system. Consumers need to know they can trust the firms they buy from and are protected if something goes wrong. This gives them the confidence to make choices and switch product providers. This then means firms have strong incentives to treat consumers properly and strive to win their business on the basis of service, quality, price and innovation. Find out more about how we promote competition.