Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New agency tackles consumer finance

Posted By Ahmed Al-Salem
Article By: Jane Smith

The Government has announced plans to set up a new agency to take over the role of consumer financial education from the City regulator.

The Consumer Financial Education body will promote financial literacy and provide financial information for consumers and oversee the rollout of the Government's Money Guidance service.

The service will offer free financial advice - on topics such as mortgages, pensions and savings accounts - which was previously only available to people who could pay for it.

The new agency will be funded through a levy on financial services firms.

The Government also plans to help consumers get redress more easily by introducing US-style class actions under which a consumer representative will be able to bring an action to court on behalf of a group of consumers.

The FSA will also have its powers strengthened enabling it to force banks to set up damages schemes when large numbers of customers have the same valid complaint, to make it easier for people to get compensation.

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