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Review will look at role of watchdog and FSCS in crisis

The roles of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will be reviewed as part of a raft of banking reforms.

The review will cover the governance and accountability of the FOS and the FSCS in light of the economic crisis.

The Government has stressed that this review will not challenge either organisation’s independence or role in the regulatory system.

Chancellor Alistair Darling also announced that the role of the FSCS will be expanded and legislation will be introduced to pre-fund the scheme.

He said the expanded role of the FSCS would facilitate payment to UK customers if foreign banks default.

He said the Government would improve arrangements for depositor protection and said the pre-funded element would only apply to this area.

Due to the economic crisis, Darling said that pre-funding would not be introduced until after 2012 and the initial levy will not be set at a level which would compromise financial stability.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “The Hunt review made a number of suggestions to the FOS and only one or two were taken on. It sounds like the Government are saying, we are doing this review but nothing will change.”

The Treasury, will report on the review at the end of the year.

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