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White paper: Govt to set up industry-funded consumer body

The Government has set out proposals today for the formation of an independent consumer education and information body which will be funded by FSA-regulated firms.

The proposals, set out in the Treasury’s white paper on banking reform, say it will be funded by the collection of levies from FSA-regulated and OFT-licensed firms as well as a range of other funding streams.

The new authority will take the strategic lead on consumer education and information provision relating to personal finance.

The Treasury has estimated that the total cost of setting up and running the body will be £24m over a period of 52 years.

It will work with regulatory bodies and consumer representatives, including the Consumer Advocate proposed in the recent consumer white paper, to ensure an effective, strategic approach to cross-cutting issues affecting consumers.

The FSA will establish the authority’s board and chairman with the approval of the Treasury but it will be independent from the FSA.

The authority will have the power to delegate functions where other organisations might be better placed to deliver and will have statutory immunity in relation to the discharge of its functions.


Level headed

It is very easy to forget just how quickly changes in the mortgage industry have taken place, significantly altering the way in which products and services are delivered to the consumer and giving those consumers assurances as to the standard of service they receive.

Pain defends the specialists

FSA retail markets managing director Jon Pain has defended specialist lenders, saying they offer access to the mortgage market for many borrowers who would otherwise be excluded.


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