The financial services industry is highly regulated and companies selling financial products or advice must adhere to a stringent set of guidelines set out by the industry’s independent regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority. The FSA has wide-ranging rule-making, enforcement and investigatory powers and your rights as a consumer are well protected. The aim of the FSA is to promote efficient, orderly and fair markets and to help retail consumers achieve a fair deal’ (source:, and it has four principle objectives: to promote confidence in the industry, to increase public understanding of the financial system, to protect consumers and to reduce financial crime. .panies must be authorised by the FSA in order to sell financial products and services. This includes banks, building societies, investment .panies, mortgage providers, insurance firms, financial advisors and pensions sellers. They must .ply with the guidelines set out by the FSA in its Handbook. Broadly speaking, the rules that financial .panies must follow are to: be trustworthy and financially secure provide clear information to help you make financial decisions, such as key facts’ and key features’ of products and services give professional, .petent advice have clear and straightforward procedures for making a .plaint inform you about .pensation methods You can find out whether a .pany is authorised by the FSA by using the Check Service on the FSA’s website. If you have a .plaint about a financial product or service you have bought, you should contact the .pany in the first instance. If the .plaint isn’t resolved to you satisfaction here, you should then contact an independent .plaint scheme such as the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Ombudsman will carry out an impartial investigation into the .plaint and will attempt to resolve it. You don’t have to accept the Ombudsman’s findings, but if you do they are legally binding on both you and the .pany with whom you have a .plaint. If you don’t agree with the findings and want to take the matter further, the next step is to take your case to court. Banks and building societies also have their own voluntary code of conduct for promoting best practice and ensuring that customers are treated fairly and reasonably. Managed by the Banking Code Standards Board, it’s known simply as the Banking Code and most major high street banks have signed up to it. Products and services covered by the Code include bank accounts, overdrafts, loans, credit cards and foreign exchanges. Some of the key rules to which the participating banks and building societies agree to adhere are: providing clear information on products and services and how they work ensuring that promotional material and advertising are accurate and not misleading keeping customers informed by sending regular statements and telling customers about changes to terms and conditions, charges or interest rates acting promptly and fairly to deal with .plaints when things go wrong using safe and secure systems and keeping personal information confidential promoting the Banking Code and ensuring that employees understand and abide by it The Banking Code Standards Board isn’t able to investigate individual .plaints on behalf of consumers, but its helpdesk can provide useful information and support. If you have a grievance that you’ve been unable to sort out with the .pany concerned, you should take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 相关的主题文章: