Banking watchdogs propose complaints committee to rebuild confidence

Financial services industry watchdogs have proposed the creation of a joint committee to improve customer experience and rebuild confidence in the beleaguered sector.

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The consumer protection committee will be made up of representatives from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and aims to “identify any risks with the potential to turn into widespread problems”.

In a discussion paper, the FSA says identifying “systemic problems” that could lead to complaints is one of the “key elements” in rebuilding consumer confidence.

Ray Watson, OFT director says:” Identifying and dealing with problems at an early stage is important for ensuring customers do not suffer unnecessary harm from financial products.”

Consumer confidence in the financial services industry is said to have plummeted in the 18 months since the worse of the financial crisis.

A recent poll of 1,600 consumers for the Direct Marketing Association found that 71% did not trust the industry.

Comments on the discussion paper can be made to the FSA until 10 June.

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