Watchdog not Lapdog New rules for the banks
Which? has campaigned over the years for better financial regulation and protection of your hard-earned money.
The coalition government decided in June 2010 to divide the responsibilities of the current regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), into two new bodies; the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
We’ve been campaigning hard to make sure that the new FCA, a consumer focused regulator, will be strong, open and proactive in a way the FSA was not.
And following the latest spate of banking scandals, it's more important than ever to make sure that the impact on consumers is not forgotten.
Financial Conduct Authority
Now that the Financial Services Bill has made its way through Parliament, it marks the split of the FSA. The PRA will focus on the bigger financial issues that have the potential to destabilise the whole economy, while the FCA will operate as a consumer champion. It will be tasked with improving competition in the banking sector and preventing dodgy financial products from making it to market.
We want the new regulator to learn from the lessons of the FSA. So we've been calling on the government to ensure they create a watchdog, not a lapdog, to keep an eye on the banks.
We took to the streets to find out what consumers want from the new financial watchdog. Explore our gallery:
What Which? wants
Our dog is ready to show its teeth
1. We need a strong regulator that stands up to the banks and promotes competition.
We want the FCA to issue fines that are big enough to act as deterrents and promote competition by making sure products are transparent, simple to compare and easy to switch between.
Our dog is not afraid to bark
2. We need an open regulator that tells consumers what it does.
We want the FCA to tell consumers when firms are found to have broken the rules, what it is investigating and what it is going to do to stop it.
Our dog can sniff out dodgy products
3. We need a proactive regulator that acts on issues before they become problems
We want the FCA to take a more proactive approach and ban dodgy financial products and misleading adverts before they cause problems. Lessons must be learnt from the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal.
How the campaign will continue
The Financial Services Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament in December 2012. But our work doesn't stop here - we'll be keeping a close eye on the new financial regulator to make sure it is strong, open and proactive, and use its powers to protect consumers.
In the meantime, find out more about how your support helped our Watchdog not Lapdog campaign shape the new FCA.