The FSA should take more responsibility for the way consumers are treated according to the Financial Services Consumer Panel's annual report.
The Consumer Panel argues that if consumer confidence in the industry is to improve, more simple information should be available in order for them to compare products and services, resist pressurised selling and misleading advertising and demand quality.
Although the FSA has improved its systems to monitor and identify consumer risks in the way products are created, promoted and sold, the report warns that financial education should not be treated as a “quick fix” and not used as a substitute for continuing regulation of financial services.
Consumer Panel chairman Ann Foster says: “It has to be in the interests of the financial services industry to improve the current level of consumer confidence, so that more people are able to consider their needs and buy the right products for them. But the industry must play a part in helping consumers. At the moment the industry is too product driven, rather than consumer led. The FSA must come down on hard on the industry when it tries to pull the wool over the eyes of the consumers.”