There is a new regulatory structure in place within financial services.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been scrapped and the the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) were established on 1 April.
The Financial Services Consumer Panel has welcomed the move and believes that the FCA has the powers needed to introduce an era of more effective regulation as its operational objectives give it a strong consumer protection mandate.
The Consumer Panel is expecting a renewed and meaningful focus by the FCA on ensuring the industry treats its customers fairly and higher penalties to remove firms’ incentive to engage in practices damaging to consumers and to act as a clear deterrent to firms who may decide to copy them.
Adam Phillips, Consumer Panel chair, said: “It has taken three years to translate the Government’s ideas on regulatory reform into the reality of the new FCA. With its enhanced consumer protection mandate, we expect the FCA to build on the FSA’s recent work and introduce an era of effective consumer protection.
“We have already been encouraged by Martin Wheatley’s bold statements and the new organisation’s commitment to taking a more forthright approach to regulation.
“Financial services are an essential part of modern life. Experience has shown that robust regulation is needed to ensure consumers get a fair deal. The FCA has the powers to make a real difference to consumer protection. The Panel will be watching its progress closely and urging it to ensure consumers get a financial services industry that acts in their best interests.”