Panel calls for firms to do more to act in consumers’ interests

25 September 2013

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has expressed disappointment at Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) figures revealing continuing problems with the handling of PPI complaints by firms.

This follows a string of disappointing thematic reviews where firms have been found wanting following investigation by the FCA. Most recently the FCA disclosed that firms were failing to abide by the spirit of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

Sue Lewis, Consumer Panel Chair commented:
“We welcome the FCA’s work to expose the shortcomings of these firms. However, there is clearly a long way to go before some in the industry get the message that they need to act in consumers' interests. If the supermarkets behaved in this way, we would still be eating horsemeat masquerading as beef.

We are pleased to see that the FCA is taking enforcement action against at least one firm. However, the review is the tip of the iceberg as it deals with firms responsible for less than one in six complaints (1). The FCA must also get tough with the big players.

Consumers who feel that their complaint has not been taken seriously should complain directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You don’t need to use a claims management firm.”

Notes to editors

  1. The 18 small and medium sized firms together represent one million complaints around 16% of the total.
  2. Biographical details for Sue Lewis and photographs in a range of resolutions are available on our website
  3. The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services Act 2012. It was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FCA on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FCA's performance in meeting its objectives.
  4. The Panel’s membership is drawn from a broad range of backgrounds with expertise including market research, law, financial services industry, financial inclusion, European Regulation, financial regulation, consumer advice, campaigning, communications, compliance and later-life issues.
  5. The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FCA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FCA's remit. More information about the Panel's work is available here.