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Turner: Should CPMA remit include competition policy?

FSA chairman Adair Turner (pictured) has questioned whether the planned Consumer Protection and Markets Authority should consider competition issues as part of its remit.

Speaking at the 2010 British Bankers’ Association conference in London today, Turner said the FSA must have regard to facilitating competition amongst firms, but not whether consumers would benefit from more intense competition.

He said: “Currently the FSA is required to ‘have regard’ to facilitating competition between authorised firms, encouraging innovation and not unnecessarily limiting competition in the market.

“We are not encouraged by our regulatory framework to consider whether consumer protection interests would be best served not by more regulation or more consumer education, but by more intense competition.

“But now that we are establishing a dedicated consumer protection authority, it is an opportunity to think through which tools are most effective.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Michael Fallas 13th July 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I agree

    we must not have barriers to competition

  2. Dear Adair

    Did you really need to ask the question? Or was it in fact a statement?

    If it was indeed a statement the regulatory train is heading for the buffers so perhaps now is the time to apply the brakes?

  3. why not nationalise us now and be done with it.
    That is the intention is it not mr turner?
    Nationalisation through regulation.
    The government reaps the benefit we pay the bill.

  4. Whitehall people get very obsessed with “competition” but tend to ignore the obvious – price.

    Nearly all the problems with financial products have been down to one of 2 things – the risk wasn’t explained properly or the price was too high.

    Payment Protection Insurance would have been OK if commission levels were at a typical GI level of 20% not 80% and firms weren’t getting extra profit by adding single premiums to loans.

    Pension switching is fine when no rights are lost and it doesn’t reduce the fund. Switching investments is only churning when the cost is too high.

    And most of all, would there be any need for the RDR if commission was capped at a sensible level?

    Meanwhile “competition” regulators like the OFT and OFGEM are pretty toothless.

    But Whitehall is miles away from the real world so “sensible” doesn’t exist there.

  5. Oh dear … it’s been how long since this was announced and already they are just a “dedicated Consumer Protection body” … whatever happened to the Marketing bit??
    Or perhaps that’s a different press release …

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