FSA must ‘show its teeth’ to rebuild public confidence

FSA must 'show its teeth' to rebuild public confidence

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) must show banks that ‘it has real teeth’ if it is to protect consumers from banking blunders and greed, consumer advice group Which? said this week.

Which? said banks must be hit with ‘bigger fines’ when they mess up if the FSA is to restore public confidence in the financial services industry.

It also proposed ‘naming and shaming’ the biggest offenders to prevent risky lending practices that caused the credit crisis.

Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? chief executive, said: “Protecting consumers from rogue firms must be a priority if the FSA wants to rebuild public confidence in the financial services industry.”

He said that the FSA must act now to ensure that credit is available to those that need it and are able to repay.

“In terms of credit availability, we have gone from feast to famine,” Vicary-Smith said.

Referring to the FSA’s Turner Report on the economic crisis, he added: “We welcome proposals designed to avoid a repeat of the current crisis but it is important that credit remains accessible to creditworthy individuals.

“If mortgages are to be capped, we must ensure that any restrictions don’t shut consumers out of the market so that they can’t re-mortgage and are stuck with their current provider.”

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