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FCA responds to Committee's Consumers' Access to Financial Services report

21 June 2019

Its recommendations included:

  • Firms should be required to always act in customers' best interests – a legal duty of care may be necessary
  • EHRC needs better resources to enforce Equality Act
  • Enforcement of banks' compliance with Equality Act should be transferred to FCA
  • Firms should be required to publish loyalty penalty
  • Bank branches and free-to-use ATMs should be preserved
  • Post Office must stop subsidising big six banks' lack of branches
  • Banks must fund shared hubs to prevent loss of ‘last bank in town'
  • Voluntary spending blocks should be explored

Chair's comments

The Committee has today published the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) response to the report. Commenting on the response, Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:

“The Treasury Committee's report made a series of wide-ranging recommendations for the regulator and the Government to consider; recommendations for how consumers' access to financial services can be improved.

“But the vast majority of the FCA's reply to our recommendations appears to be a holding response or lacking in desire to effect any change.

“For example, we recommended that in addition to the EHRC, the FCA should be given responsibility for the enforcement of the Equality Act. Yet the FCA said that it does not have the expertise as a financial services regulator to carry out enforcement.

“Why could the FCA not acquire the expertise required to ensure that the Equality Act is enforced and protect vulnerable consumers?

“The FCA should have another go at responding to our report and approach our recommendations with a far more inquisitive and curious attitude.”

Further information

Image: PA