The material on this website is for information only
and is not intended as any recommendation or endorsement of any products or companies mentioned. We are not licensed by the FSA to give financial advice, and none of the material on this website constitutes or is intended to constitute financial ...
News
Families can make a mint on unwanted tech — but selling to the wrong firm could return just a third of the c  The SunFAMILIES cashing in on unwanted phones and gadgets might pocket only a third of their value if they sell them to the wrong firm. Brits are sitting on a goldmine ...
The stamp duty changes that could be in the autumn budget  The TimesThe government has signalled that it is considering changes to stamp duty, from incentives for first-time buyers to tax relief for downsizers.Sajid Javid, the ...
Mortgage rates expected to hit all-time low in Brexit price war  The TimesFive-year mortgage deals are expected to hit their cheapest level as fears of a no-deal Brexit drive down lending costs.With a bumper crop of mortgages, worth ...
Anne Ashworth: We need a pension dashboard wake-up call  The TimesFirst, let's take a reality check — the government is not going to raise the state pension age to 75, particularly after the uproar that greeted proposals from the ...
Birmingham Airport Departures and Arrivals latest flight times  Birmingham LiveThis is where to look to see the latest flights into and out of Birmingham Airport - see if you relations are arriving as expected - and if your flight is going on time.
Have you met...
Latest Members:


Justin Hinkle


Sarah Williams


kylie smith


Rachel Weisz


mauricedaviz


Erik Ritschard


WingMerrill

 

Empowering consumers through improving financial capability

Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said today that a clear regulatory commitment to deliver consumer protection needs to be combined with policies to build customer capability.
Speaking at the FSA’s Financial Capability ‘Helping Consumers through the Recession’ conference in Cambridge, he outlined the increasing importance of protecting consumers through regulation but said that this must be dovetailed with improved consumer financial capability.
Lord Turner said: “It is common sense that people armed with skills, such as budgeting and planning ahead, as well as up-to-date information about new products, will be better able to cope with what life throws at them. It is also common sense that consumers will be more confident and trusting if they know a robust system of consumer protection is in place to ensure firms act in good faith.”
The FSA’s financial capability programme aims to enable better informed, educated and more confident consumers, who are able to take greater responsibility for their financial affairs and play a more active role in the market for financial services. Individual projects focus on specific groups in the population, targeting information and help to the specific circumstances they are facing. These groups include new parents, young adults, students, employees and people in further or higher education, as well as people requiring generic money guidance. This year’s conference will explore ways to reach people facing redundancy, the unemployed and hard-pressed families.
However, Lord Turner stated that education, guidance and capability won’t, by themselves, empower consumers. Consumers need to be confident that firms will protect their interests, confident the regulator will make sure that happens and confident that there are safeguards in place if things go wrong.
This is why, in the last 12 months, the FSA has:
o    increased compensation limits for depositors, dramatically increasing financial security for consumers
o    taken swift action to ensure firms didn’t apply unfair terms in tracker mortgages which would have allowed them not to pass on base interest rate reductions
o    moved decisively to ensure that when consumers seek out independent advice, that they are receiving the best product for them, not simply the one which gives the adviser the best commission
o    pushed forward on reforms to the payment protection insurance (PPI) market, for example on single premium PPI
o    started preparing enforcement actions against firms it recently investigated regarding their mortgage arrears practices

Lord Turner went on to state that markets may not always work for the consumer and, sometimes, human behaviour means that too much choice can result in consumers taking no action. This means that radical questions need to be asked about how financial markets function and how the regulator should respond. These questions include:
o    Can there be too much innovation in some markets – with complexity acting as a barrier to understanding?
o     Are some products too complex to be sold to consumers at all?
o    Should we be prepared to intervene on pricing, even at the expense of access to the market for some people?

Lord Turner concluded: “I don’t pretend to have all the answers to these questions today. Or, indeed, that there are blanket answers that apply to every market or product. But what is clear is that consumer protection, financial capability and market intervention to protect consumers needs to be seen as part of an integrated strategy. And this needs to be grounded in an understanding of what role each element plays in empowering consumers and building their confidence in the market.”

Advertise with us  |  Privacy  |  Terms & Copyright                                                                                     Website maintained by USP Networks