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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Role of The FSA

The Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) has given the Financial Services Authority (FSA) a public spanking for the "unrealistic" emphasis on consumer responsibility outlined in the FSA's consultation paper on consumer responsibility.

The emphasis on consumer responsibility, already ingrained in the FSA's philosophy, is being used by Britain's "rip off" financial services industry as an excuse for avoiding their responsibilities to consumers.

The FSCP said that the consultation paper risked shifting the focus on consumer protection away from regulated firms.

The FSA has been more than happy in the past to blame the consumer for financial product failings (eg endowment policies).

Doubtless blaming the consumer makes the FSA's job easier, not least because it is funded by the financial services industry. However, it should remember that its role is to protect the consumer from the unscrupulous financial services industry who seek to sell on products that are over complex and shoddy (eg PPI, endowment policies etc).

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