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Practitioner and consumer panels get statutory status

The FSA is now required to publish replies to the Financial Services Consumer and Practitioner Panels as both get their full statutory powers this week.

A section of the Financial Services and Markets Act which comes into effect this week means it is now the FSA&#39s duty to consult practitioners and consumers and to include them in its accountability framework.

Both panels have been working in anticipation of statutory status since their establishment in 1998.

The current practitioner panel includes members who represent the interests of IFAs, management consultants and the banking, insurance and investment industry.

The newly introduced legislation does not grant statutory status to the Small Business Practit-ioner Panel but its joint chairman, IFA Roger San-ders, is also a member of the practitioner panel.

The consumer panel remains independent of the FSA and able to make public statements where it believes they are appropriate.

FSA chairman Howard Davies says: “We at the FSA have benefited greatly from the input given by both the practitioner and consumer panel since they were set up.

“Their work has led to changes and refinements to policies we have proposed. The importance of ensuring that we are accountable to both parties is recognised in the legislation and their statutory status.”

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