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FSA Consumer Panel chair Lipsey resigns over lack of power

Lord Lipsey has resigned as chairman of the FSA’s Financial Services Consumer Panel in a disagreement over his remit.

FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner says that Lipsey had requested a wider lobbying remit backed up by greater resources, but other panel members and the regulator disagreed with Lipsey over this function.

Vice chair Adam Philips will take over as interim chairman from December 2, while the panel seeks to recruit a permanent replacement.

Lord Turner says: “In addition to the traditional activities of the Consumer Panel, David has proposed a much wider remit, with a role across a wide lobbying agenda supported by greatly increased resources.

“The members of the Consumer Panel did not, however, share David’s belief that this changed and wider role was appropriate, nor did the FSA believe that the change from the existing role was required.”

He adds: “We continue to welcome the advice and challenge to our policies and proposals that the Consumer Panel provides and regard it as a valuable statutory accountability mechanism, balanced by the parallel Practitioner Panels.

“I would like to thank David for his work in pursuit of the Panel’s objectives.”

In his letter of resignation Lord Lipsey wrote: “Over my six months in office, I have sought to promote a significant change of role for the Panel to tackle consumer financial services issues in a broader sense.

“This has become more urgent in my view as a result of the blow to consumer confidence resulting from the financial crisis.

“This approach has not won the support of the FSA or of the panel as a whole.

“Additionally, the increased resources required to sustain that altered role will not be made available. In those circumstances, the panel requires a change of leadership.”


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