How should the financial watchdog protect you?Strong, open and proactive regulator needed

22 February 2012

On Wednesday 22 February, Which? hosted a panel debate with the CEO designate of the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Martin Wheatley, to hear first hand what consumers want from the new financial watchdog.

We're currently lobbying the government, with our Watchdog not Lapdog campaign, to ensure the Financial Services Bill provides not just adequate but proactive protection for consumers.

Trust in the banks

Which? held the debate to gain insight into consumer trust in the finance industry. We wanted to find out what consumers think the new regulator should be doing to better protect people's finances. You can replay the discussions in the panel below.

Which? and the FCA wanted to see how people view the current regulator – the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - and what they would like to happen in the future to ensure they are protected.

Financial Services Bill

In January 2012, the Financial Services Bill was laid before Parliament. This Bill will recast how the financial services industry is regulated.

The Bill will split the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA will be responsible for protecting consumers.

Proactive FSA since financial crisis

Which? has welcomed the more proactive approach the FSA has adopted since the financial crisis. We have also supported the commitment the government has made to put consumers at the heart of banking reform.

However, the FSA failed to protect people from poor financial products, dodgy sales practices and poor customer service. The FCA must be a financial watchdog consumers can count on.

Financial Conduct Authority role

Our key ask of the Financial Services Bill is that it creates a watchdog that looks out for consumers rather than a lapdog that panders to the banks. The Bill can do this by:

  • creating a strong regulator that stands up to the banks and promotes competition
  • producing an open regulator that tells consumers what it does
  • prescribing a proactive approach to address issues before they become problems

More on this…

  • What do you want from the new financial watchdog? Join the debate on Which? Conversation
  • Do you want a strong proactive, open and proactive regulator? Pledge your support
  • Vote for the dog you think should front our Watchdog not Lapdog campaign