asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will establish an inquiry into the banking industry's treatment of its personal customers. [HL3975]
The Government have put in place a regulatory framework for the financial services sector which ensures appropriate prudential and conduct of business regulation of financial services firms by the independent Financial Services Authority. Consumers also have a statutory right to take complaints against individual firms to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service.
The FSA's overall retail strategy is to “help retail consumers achieve a fair deal”. The FSA is seeking to deliver this strategy through its “Treating Customers Fairly” initiative (TCF). Through TCF, the FSA intends to deliver a retail marketplace where consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
The banking industry also has its own voluntary code—the Banking Code—which sets out standards of good practice for banks and building societies in the UK. A triennial review of the Banking Code is currently underway and the independent reviewer is due to announce his recommendations shortly following extensive consultation with stakeholders.