The Financial Services Consumer Panel is calling for consumers to have to shoulder less responsibility for their financial decisions.
The panel is an independent statutory body and was established to advise the Financial Services Authority on the interests and concerns of consumers and to report on the regulator’s performance in meeting its objectives.
Last week it published a briefing paper on consumer responsibility which argues that it is unreasonable to expect consumers to understand the details of complex financial products and services.
The new Financial Services Bill, which is being discussed in Parliament, contains a proposal that the incoming Financial Conduct Authority should have regard to the principle that consumers should take responsibility for their decisions.
Adam Phillips, chair of the FSCP, says: “All too often the products consumers are sold are so complex and the risks involved so obscure that it is impossible for them to make reasoned decisions.
“This is why the panel believes that the FCA should be able to make rules to impose fiduciary responsibilities on the industry. This would ensure consumers could be confident that firms would act responsibly and treat them fairly.”