The FSA, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Office of Fair Trading have formed a joint committee to spot emerging risks that could cause widespread consumer detriment.
The Coordination Committee was first proposed in an FSA discussion paper on consumer complaints published last March.
The FSA has today published its feedback statement, which details the set up of the new committee.
The Coordination Committee has held three meetings so far, including two pilot meetings in the second half of last year.
The last meeting in February was chaired by FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll.
Minutes from the February meeting reiterated concerns about exchange traded funds and exchange traded products and whether consumers were being made aware of the costs of self-invested personal pensions compared to alternative products.
‘Debt freeze’ or ‘debt waiver’ products were also highlighted as a concern, particularly the unclear product terms, with the committee anxious that they could operate as “payment protection insurance replacements”.
In its feedback statement, the FSA also addressed the issue of claims management companies.
The FSA says it will shortly put out a joint statement with the claims management regulator, part of the Ministry of Justice, detailing firms’ responsibilities where they receive complaints from claims management firms.
The FSA says: “We recognise concern about the quality of services provided by some CMCs to complainants and the impact that CMC activity can have in escalating the number of complaints about an issue.
“In our view, the extent to which CMCs can play a role in fuelling mass claims needs to be balanced against the role they can also play in improving access to justice for consumers of financial services. Key to this is the value for money that CMCs offer consumers, given that consumers have access to complaint handling procedures that are free and intended to be easy to use.”
The Coordination Committee will publish an annual account of its activities. The next meeting will be held in May.