The new Financial Services Bill has provoked reaction:
Otto Thoresen of the ABI comments: "The FCA must promote positive outcomes for consumers, rather than just focus on avoiding negative outcomes. Firms now need a clear and realistic timetable for the remainder of the transition which takes in secondary legislation, as well as the parliamentary stages of the bill."
Sarah Brooks of Consumer Focus comments: "This is a once in a generation opportunity to reform our financial regulation and it is vital we get it right. Consumers have been losing out for too long. It is important that the bill ensures that all of the regulatory bodies are clear on their responsibilities and powers from the offset. Particularly welcome steps include early interventions on banning products. The clarity of the FCA objectives on promoting competition is significant. Competition is not an end in itself, it must deliver benefits for consumers. The detail in the bill gives some hope that this has been recognised and the new regime will work towards promoting effective competition to make sure consumers get a better deal.”
Which? warns that government promises of a pro-consumer watchdog must be delivered. Peter Vicary-Smith says “The regulator must be strong, open and proactive, with consumer protection and the promotion of effective competition at the heart of everything it does. The FCA needs to deliver on its promises."