Government opens applications for ‘super-complainants’

The Government has kick-started the process for consumer bodies to apply to have the power to bring “super-complaints” to the Financial Conduct Authority.

London UK Parliament 480

The FSA published a guidance consultation last month which set out how the FCA will handle super-complaints brought by consumer bodies and reports of regulatory failings by firms and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Super-complaints can be brought by designated consumer bodies where they have concerns about aspects of the UK financial services market which they believe are significantly damaging consumer interests.

The Government has now opened the application process for consumer bodies to apply to be designated as super-complainants.

It says once designated, consumer bodies will have a “fast-tracked” route to raise issues about the market with the FCA. The FCA will be required to publish a response within 90 days.

Treasury financial secretary Greg Clark says: “Knowing there is a route for bodies representing consumers of financial services to bring consumer protection and competition problems to the FCA’s attention and hold it accountable for providing a response will be vital to rebuilding trust in financial services. This will support swifter intervention by the FCA in future.”

The application for the first round of designations closes on 4 June, with an announcement on the first designated super-complainants later this year.