15th December 2010
In this season of good cheer, the Financial Services Consumer Panel is highlighting its five key priorities for 2011 which would give consumers a better deal.
Consumer protection has to be at the forefront of policymakers’ minds during 2011. The Government’s anticipated financial services reform Bill should mark a step-change in putting good consumer outcomes at the heart of its thinking.
The Consumer Panel has identified its top five 2011 priorities for consumers as:
- A powerful, proactive regulator - the proposed Consumer Protection and Markets Authority must have stronger powers to take tougher action to offer better consumer protection;
- Higher industry ethical standards – ensuring providers stick to the rules and have the highest ethical standards and staff training;
- Access to meaningful advice and straightforward products – consumers deserve unbiased financial advice and consumer financial information and products which do what they say on the tin;
- Increased transparency - the FSA in 2011 and the new financial regulators which follow should have a presumption of publication so the public can make informed choices;
- An effective solution to the PPI debacle - which will get consumers their money back.
Adam Phillips, Chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel said:
"It has been another difficult year for the financial services industry and its customers. It’s hard to feel optimistic with the blizzards and cold we have been having and the New Year does not look like being any better at the moment, but spring will come.
Next year financial regulation will move towards a new structure. We need to ensure that the changes that are made will restore consumers’ trust in the financial services industry. In particular, we need to see the industry and the regulators truly putting customer needs first. Consumers are entitled to see tougher action from the regulators and legislators in ensuring consumers will be adequately protected in the new regulatory regime.
During 2011 the Consumer Panel will be assiduous in reviewing the progress firms, regulators and legislators have made to provide a better deal for hard-pressed consumers.”
Notes to editors
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.
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.
There are currently eleven members of the Panel as listed below. (For further information on individual members, see Who is on the panel)