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CA granted formal &#39super-complaint&#39 status

The Consumers&#39 Association announced yesterday that it has been granted formal super-complaint status by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Super-complainant powers will allow the Consumers&#39 Association to make formal complaints to a number of government regulators including the Office of Fair Trading about markets failing to work for consumers and where consumer detriment has been identified.

In the past two years the Consumers&#39 Association has made two super-complaints in an informal capacity. The first, in January 2002, focused on issues of access to dentist services and resulted in a formal investigation by the OFT; the second was about the care homes market, in December 2003.

Nick Stace, director of campaigns at the Consumers&#39 Association, says: “This grant recognises the crucial role this organisation must play in the highlighting where markets are failing to operate in the consumer interest. We will now step-up our commitment to this activity and expect to refer a number of cases to the OFT each year.”


Time for a debate on network fees

Mortgage Intelligence&#39s decision to offer free access to its network services is to be applauded. Why? Because sense is at last starting to prevail among the leading players of the fee-charging mortgage network world. Let us not underestimate just how important Mortgage Intelligence&#39s strategic U-turn is. This is an act that will have far-reaching consequences […]

Industry warned to take more responsibility over treatment of consumers

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has called on the industry and the FSA to take more responsibility for the way consumers are treated if consumer confidence in the industry is to be improved. In its annual report Consumer Panel chairwoman Ann Foster highlighted that consumers are being expected to take on the responsibility for making […]

No sign of buy-to-let bubble bursting

The bursting of the buy-to-let bubble isn&#39t as imminent as expected, says Robert Jordan, president of ARLA. He believes that the constantly evolving and increasing segmentation of the market and the consumer approach to protection for tenants will ensure this. Jordan says: “When ARLA launched buy-to-let we started with what has become traditional buy-to-let. This […]

AMI fears regulatory creep

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has slammed the FSA for admitting it will take account of non-regulated practices by firms when it is assessing them post-Mortgage Day. Although the FSA denies that this is a sign of regulatory creep it says it will include activities like buy-to-let and second charge mortgages within its overall evaluation […]

The savvy consumer

In last year’s FCA thematic review of the mortgage market, one of the key things highlighted was the “savvy consumer”. That’s the client who comes in the door with a very clear idea of what they need and expect you to get them it. They don’t think they need advice, they have after all consulted […]


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