Regulators become collaborators

Ramesh Sharma

March 25, 2006

The two organisations have both campaigned for better service and the rights of consumers with their interests often overlapping, for example in the recent debate over Payment Protection Insurance.

John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, said: “OFT and FSA interests coincide in a wide range of areas, from ensuring that markets work well, to informing, empowering and protecting consumers. We believe we can and should work more effectively together to the benefit of all our stakeholders, to deliver greater benefits for consumers and the UK economy alike.”

The main aim of the review is to streamline the regulatory process, making it more effective for business to follow.

The review promises to complete a feasibility study by September on ways to cut the administration associated with regulation and applying to be regulated.

Also highlighted as an area needing improvement was greater collaboration between the two bodies regarding consumer education, with a feasibility study on greater harmony between the two organisations’ consumer contact points ready by October.

Richard Fox, chief executive of the Society of Mortgage Professionals, believed greater collaboration could only be a good thing.

He explained: “There is great need for the OFT and other regulatory bodies to collaborate more to drive those disreputable companies out of business. Often, people who have acted fraudulently in the past can get a consumer credit licence and once they have it, it is very difficult to get them out of the industry. More collaboration would help stop things like this from happening so it’s good news and the more the better.”

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