Martin Wheatley, who will run the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when it takes over from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in a year, has outlined a new regulatory approach - getting a fair deal for consumers.
Martin Wheatley says, "We need to develop a new regulatory approach. The FCA will need to ask tougher questions, and they need to be the right ones, if we are really going to discover what lies at the heart of successes and failures. The FCA then needs to make better, bolder, faster decisions. We all have to walk in the footsteps of customers to understand their perspective and to be able to deliver the new approach. If a consumer makes a fully informed decision that subsequently goes wrong, then that is down to them. But we have to be realistic. And what this is about is balance. We have to realise that consumers are not always in a position to take responsibility, because of their lack of knowledge and because we have to take a reasonable approach to what a normal person can understand about complicated products and risks. Balance comes from consumers and providers taking responsibility for their part in each transaction. So our approach will reflect that and be flexible and proportionate."
Gillian Guy at national charity Citizens Advice comments, "We welcome the plans to look at things from a consumer perspective. People come to Citizens Advice with many problems involving financial products and services, including mis-selling and unfair treatment. We need the FCA to work hard at stopping these problems by making sure firms consistently look out for the interests of all their customers."