Christopher Lawrenson MBE, Head of Legal Services at the BSA comments:
“The key issues regarding conduct in financial services in the early 2000s were twofold: Firstly, certain firms demonstrated poor governance practices and culture. Secondly, there was inadequate regulatory oversight and enforcement - with a major factor being the lack of regulatory tools to apportion and enforce individual accountability.
“The legal and regulatory landscape has been, rightly, strengthened and supplemented considerably in the intervening years with a range of additional consumer protections. This includes addressing the very important matter of individual accountability. Crucially, these measures need time to 'bed down' and be tested. The clear conclusion is that, since there are ample rules, law and duties to protect UK financial service customers, there is no need for an additional duty of care.
“A complicated and overlapping framework of consumer protection laws, regulatory rules and EU-derive measures can leave today’s consumers bewildered about their rights. Adding a further duplicative and unnecessary duty to the mix would therefore be counter-productive for both consumers and businesses. What consumers need is proper enforcement of the numerous provisions that already exist.
“The BSA will consider constructively the proposals that emerge from the FCA’s planned consultation in the Autumn, but we believe that a simplification (not weakening) of consumer protections, rather than further complexity, would be the approach that serves consumers best.”
Notes to Editors
The FCA statement