View more on these topics

Treasury review must not undermine Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has warned that the simplicity and accessibility of the Financial Ombudsman Service could be undermined if the Treasury&#39s review ended up adding an appeal system to the current process.

The two-year review of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 which set up the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Authority was announced by the Treasury yesterday.

The Consumer Panel is pleased to see that many aspects of the Act which it asked to be reviewed have been included in this process. It will continue to press for actions to help consumers to understand more about the financial services they are buying and to protect them from wrongdoing in the market.

The panel particularly welcomes the commitment from the Treasury and the FSA to do more about financial promotions — an area where the Consumer Panel has campaigned for some time to gain quicker action by the FSA to stamp out misleading advertising, and to publicise any action which the FSA takes.

And it says it also welcomes the Treasury&#39s promise to clarify the boundary of regulation so that employers and advice centres are not constrained from giving simple advice on financial issues. This will go some way towards meeting the panel&#39s wish to have a simple independent generic advice system available for all consumers.

The Consumer Panel will be considering all the consultation papers as they are published, and will be responding publicly to all those which affect consumers of financial services.


Moneyback guarantee has proved a worthless promise

From Ray HarrisonI read with interest an article on lead generation firms and in particular Mortgage Appointments (Mortgage Strategy October 27). After an unsolicited call from Ric Gibson promising a moneyback guarantee for quality leads, we paid £500 in March 2003 to this company. We soon realised that the leads purchased were not of the […]

Brokers unsurprised by BBC revelations

Brokers say they are not surprised by damaging revelations about inflated income in self-certification applications, following last week&#39s exposé in The Money Programme. The BBC documentary last week revealed mortgage advisers including branch staff encouraging reporters posing as mortgage applicants to vastly exaggerate their income in order to secure larger loans. The revelations have shocked […]

Payments to rise as proportion of income

Economists warn that mortgage payments could rise as a proportion of take-home pay by almost one-third. Nationwide&#39s October 2003 House Price Index suggests that if the base rate rises next week, as many analysts expect, payments as a proportion of take-home pay will rise to between 29% and 32%, compared with 27% now. The report […]

Low fixed rates coming to an end

Leeds & Holbeck has warned that the days of five-year fixed rate mortgages with rates below 5% could be coming to an end in the UK. The forecast comes from Tony Burdin, head of marketing at the Leeds-based society, based on increases in money market rates and a widely expected rise in the Bank of […]

Retirement - thumbnail

Pension freedoms: stop the scams

At the beginning of 2015, we highlighted that the new pension freedoms that come fully online on 6 April also represent a very attractive opportunity for the criminal fraternity to scam savers out of some, or all, of their accumulated retirement savings.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up