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FCA able to instantly ban products

FCA able to instantly ban products

Category: Banking

Updated: 17/10/2012
First Published: 17/10/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The new regulator that will be replacing the Financial Services Authority (FSA) early next year will have the power to instantly ban unsuitable financial products that it considers a risk to consumers.

In a guidance document published yesterday, it was also revealed that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be able to impose tougher penalties for financial misconduct, pursue criminal prosecutions and make supervisory judgements about a firm's business model and forward-looking strategy.

The abolition of the FSA will see three new regulatory authorities created:

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will supervise the safety and soundness of financial firms, the FCA will be focused on protecting consumers and the Financial Regulation Authority will have overall responsibility for financial regulation, overseeing both the PRA and FCA.

"The FCA offers a huge opportunity for the regulator and firms to start afresh, and work in partnership to reset how we deal with conduct in financial services," said FSA managing director, Martin Wheatley.

The guidance was welcomed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, the Investment Management Association and the Association of British Insurers.

Consumer Focus warned, however, that "the test of the FCA will be whether it prevents toxic products such as PPI, mortgage endowments or split capital trusts in the future".

"Will it intervene early or will pressure from industry delay action? A model where customers are ripped off, and then awarded compensation years afterwards, is expensive and wasteful and serves consumers badly."

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