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Consumer panel chairwoman tells of &#39uneasy&#39 relationship with regulator

The FSA&#39s consumer panel will champion the consumer cause even if it strains its relationship with the FSA, according to panel chairwoman Barbara Saunders.

Saunders was speaking at the first FSA AGM last week. Her comments come as it is revealed the consumer panel has recently appointed a spokesman from outside the FSA to speak on its behalf.

Saunders said the regulator will have to explain its reasons in writing when it disagrees with the panel on policy and she said this relationship is not always easy.

She has criticised the Government for leaving advice out of mortgageregulation.

On the subject of mortgage regulation, she said the failure to include advice in the Treasury&#39s proposals had caused the panel concern because it was essential for the FSA to be in a position to regulate the market effectively. She first made her views on advice known in the panel&#39s annual survey earlier this month.

The panel, which meets 10 times a year, was set up in November 1998 to “ensure the FSA is asking the right questions and doing research early on”. Its 11 members have a wide range of experience in various areas, including consumer and money advice and complaints&#39 handling and enforcement.


High street banks to answer to Competition Commission

The largest high street banks will have to answer to the Competition Commission over their small business practices. A questionnaire has been sent out to the four largest banks Barclays, Lloyds TSB, HSBC and RBS owned NatWest asking them detailed queries about their dealings with small business. The big four account for 83 per cent […]

20,000 want Halifax stakeholder information

More than 20,000 people have signed up for Halifax’s user-friendly guides to stakeholder pensions in the run up to its April 2001 launch.The quarterly mailshot service, which highlights key issues on savings and retirement in layman’s terms is open to non-members of Halifax. The service will provide guides on retirement planning including a pensions calculator, […]

Government pledges changes to annuity rules by end of the year

The Treasury has promised to change annuity regulations, including emphasising the open-market option, before the end of the year.The move comes in response to repeated calls from the industry and Opposition parties for changes to make annuities fairerfor consumers.Treasury Economic Secretary Melanie Johnson says she will consider making changes on a number of annuity issues […]

Egg losses increase

Egg, the internet bank reported a loss of £80.7m in the six months to June, bringing its total losses so far to nearly £295m. Losses were greater than expected by the online arm of Prudential. On the news, share prices tumbled another 5 per cent to 128p from 134.5p. This means the shares have lost […]

Who cares?

By Tracey Dickson, marketing consultant There are almost 7 million carers in the UK – that’s around 10 per cent of the population who provide unpaid care for a disabled, seriously ill or older loved one.1 But according to a report from the charity Carers UK, 20 per cent of people providing 50 hours or more of care […]


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