Banking reform must bring better value for consumers

18th November 2010

Giving evidence to today's Treasury Committee hearing at the House of Commons, Consumer Panel Chair Adam Phillips has called for banking reform to give a fresh start for customers by introducing better value and more choice.

The Panel called for action to introduce greater diversity into the banking industry to allow consumers to get a fairer deal. The Panel has recently submitted evidence to the Independent Commission1 on banking and published its own report2 reviewing the FSA's year-old banking conduct regime, revealing continuing gaps in the fair treatment of customers.

Adam Phillips Consumer Panel Chair commented:
"There is clearly a lack of diversity in UK retail banking when just six major banks dominate the high street. The reform of financial services regulation must bring effective competition, end unfair charges and drive-up standards for consumers.

The Government's reform agenda must not just focus on institutions but bring about a fresh start for bank customers. Most people don't know what their account really costs so they can't make informed decisions.

Consumers deserve real choice and the ability to switch easily between a wider range of products and services rather than essentially the same product sold under a number of different brands."


Notes to editors

  1. The Panel's submission to the Independent Banking Commission is available on our website

  2. The Consumer Panel's research on BCOBs is available on our website: its key recommendations include incentives for senior management to treat customers fairly, stronger enforcement of the FSA's principle of treating customers fairly and greater scrutiny of bank customer service.

  3. The Consumer Panel's position paper on retail banking is also available.

  4. 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.

  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.

  6. There are currently eleven members of the Panel as listed below. (For further information on individual members, see Who is on the panel)