MP backs watchdog campaign

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EASINGTON MP Grahame Morris is backing a campaign that calls for a strong, open and pro-active financial regulator that stands up for consumers.

The Financial Services Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, will change how the financial services industry is regulated, creating a new regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with responsibility for protecting consumers.

Labour MP Mr Morris said: “At a time when money is tight it’s really important that the new financial regulator is a watchdog that puts consumers at the heart of everything it does.”

He is supporting the Which? charity’s Watchdog not Lapdog campaign and said that after the financial crisis and disasters like the payment protection insurance (PPI) miss-selling scandal, the new regulator must:

l Be ready to show its teeth – 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;

l Not be afraid to bark – 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;

l Sniff out “dodgy” products – take a more pro active approach and ban dodgy financial products and misleading adverts before they cause problems. Lessons must be learned from the payment protection insurance miss-selling scandal.