We launched our Watchdog not Lapdog campaign because we want the new financial regulator to work for people, not the banks. We took to the streets to find out what you want from the new watchdog.
We think it’s vital that the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is given the powers it needs to be strong and proactive where the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was not. For example, if given the power to ban financial products, the FCA will be able to react much faster and much harder to any complaints it receives.
It’s one thing for a consumer organisation like Which? to say that there’s a problem but, if we want politicians to sit up and take notice, we need to show them that these issues seriously affect our lives.
On Which? Conversations, you’ve been sharing your thoughts on the new FCA. Michael Kovari said:
‘The Bill should make it possible for the FCA to ban all inertia selling practices in financial services. These include: mortgages with rates that are discounted for a limited time, credit card rates that are lower for balance transfers than for new purchases…and bank accounts that can be opened easily but are more difficult to close’
Harry thinks that:
‘So far as savings are concerned, the FCA urgently needs regulations to ensure that each bank gives the same set of interest rates to *all* its savers, no matter whether their account has been open a day, a month, a year or 30 years.’
So, to mark the entry of the Financial Services Bill (which will confirm the final setup of the new FCA) to the House of Lords today, we took to the streets of London to ask consumers what they wanted to see from the new financial watchdog.
Its bite should be worse than its bark
The people we met on the streets all said they wanted the new regulator to work harder for them, and to succeed where the FSA let them down. Some of them were among the two million people mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and agreed that a strong, open and proactive regulator would help them to rebuild their trust in their banks.
Help us show government that the new FCA simply must work harder for consumers by sharing your thoughts with us. What would you like to see from the new financial watchdog? Has your bank ever let you down, or have you been sold any financial products you didn’t need?