Consumer Panel calls for PRA to be accountable

Nia Williams

January 25, 2012

In the anticipated Financial Services Bill the PRA will assume responsibility for prudential regulation. Its remit will cover financial stability and the regulation of insurance funds, including with profits funds.

While the FCA, which will regulate how business is conducted, will have a duty to consider the representations of the Consumer Panel, the PRA will not.

The Consumer Panel is concerned that this leaves a serious gap in terms of accountability.

It argues that the consumer perspective will be lost when the PRA is considering matters that could strongly affect consumers such as mortgage interest caps or the distribution of funds in with profits funds.

Adam Phillips, chair of the Consumer Panel, commented: “The Panel is calling for the Consumer Panel to be given the same rights with regard to the PRA as it currently has with the FSA under FSMA.

“We are concerned that the consumer perspective will be ignored when the PRA is considering issues such as mortgage regulation or with profits funds.

“It is widely acknowledged that a formal statutory relationship with the Panel has been of great benefit to the FSA.

“A similar relationship with the PRA would ensure consumer interests are taken into account in the new authority.”

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