Regulation

FCA Rolls Out Rules To Help Consumers Make Better Financial Services Decisions

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Thursday (Aug. 16) that consumers and small businesses will have better information about the services offered by account providers so they can make better decisions about which services are right for them.

In an announcement, the FCA said that under new rules, customers will be able to easily find information on providers’ websites, including how and when services and helplines are available, contact details, how often the firm had to report major operation and security incidents and the level of complaints lodged at the company.

According to the FCA, providers have to publish the information on their websites in a consistent format. What’s more, the FCA said the big banks have to make the information available electronically via an online Application Programming Interface (API).

“As facilitated by the open banking initiative, APIs are an important route through which third parties can access current account service information,” the FCA said in the announcement. The FCA added that large banks also have to publish information on how likely people would be to recommend their banking, online/mobile banking, branch and overdraft services.

By publishing the information, the FCA stated, it will promote “effective competition” by incentivizing firms to enhance their services and to be more transparent. The information “reflects what customers have said they would find useful when carrying out their everyday banking. This will help people to choose a current account that gives them what they value. Comparison sites and the media will also be able to compare more easily the services provided by different current account brands.”

In June, the FCA announced it is proposing changes to complaint handling rules to help victims of authorized push payment (APP) fraud. In a press release, the FCA said that APP fraud happens when a consumer or micro-business is tricked into instructing their payment service providers, including banks, to send money to a fraudster’s account.

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