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.”