The Financial Services Consumer Panel expects significant advances from the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) next year.
The new regulator takes over in four months and the Panel sees this as a huge opportunity to deliver real change for consumers and the way they are treated by the financial services industry.
Adam Phillips (pictured), Consumer Panel chair, said: “It’s not often that a regulator has the opportunity to refresh and refocus its activities. The Panel has been encouraged by the new organisation’s commitment to a different approach to consumer protection from the FSA it will replace. We have great expectations of the new Financial Conduct Authority. It has the powers to make a radical difference, it must be careful not to spread itself too thinly.
“Strong rhetoric must be matched by strong action and the FCA must be clear about its priorities, to ensure that it has sufficient resources at the appropriate level, with the necessary skills and expertise, to deliver what it has promised.
“In the past the FSA took too long to investigate consumer harm leaving consumers to suffer. The FCA has strengthened analytical resources and enforcement powers, it has to use them vigorously if it is to make a difference. This is particularly the case with regard to ‘mortgage prisoners’. The FCA will need to be vigilant to prevent bad behaviour by lenders.
“Any vision of a better consumer future will only become a reality if the FCA has the determination to use its new powers.”