Financial services and the consumer
The Government is determined to ensure that the UK’s financial services industry serves the needs of consumers and the broader economy.
The Government’s objectives are three-fold: to build a financial system that is both stable and responsive to its customers; enable consumers to take a responsible approach to personal finance; and make provision for vulnerable consumers by supporting their access to essential financial services.
The Treasury is taking forward these objectives through major policy work that includes:
- establishing a new regulatory structure – this will include the establishment of a new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) responsible for regulating the conduct of business of all financial institutions. The FCA will have a greater focus on preventing consumer detriment and will have new powers to protect consumers, such as the ability to ban products and to publish details of misleading advertisements for financial products or services;
supporting consumers’ financial decisions through a money advice service and financial health check, run by the Money Advice Service (MAS);
- strengthening the transparency and suitability of financial products by asking industry to develop a new suite of Simple Products;
- enabling consumers to make better savings provision, particularly for their retirement;
- assessing the issues relating to competition in financial services, in particular through the work of the Independent Commission on Banking;
- examining issues relating to lending in financial services;
- supporting financial inclusion work to ensure consumers have access to banking and essential financial services; and
- addressing the issue of dormant bank accounts, to use financial services as a tool for valuable reinvestment in the community.
Alternatively, click on the relevant links to find out more about the Government’s approach to lending to consumers and business lending.
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