Tapestry Bank Governance Leadership Network Summit 2012

A new approach to consumer protection

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The idea of renewing the focus on treating customers and clients fairly while still earning a profit is critical for banks.

Consumer protection – within retail and wholesale – continues to move up the agenda in boardrooms and C-suites, in regulatory and supervisory organizations, and in the political arena.

Consumer issues are now part of the debate about cultural problems in the banking industry.

Particularly in the UK, consumer issues are now part of the debate about cultural problems in the banking industry, and consumer protection has been elevated as a board-level issue that encompasses the industry's reputation, standing in society and its sustainable profitability.

As the UK takes the lead in what have been described as revolutionary approaches to conduct supervision—including the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)— fundamental questions about the principles driving these approaches, questions about how they will be implemented in practice and the implications for both banks and consumers must be addressed.

Participants reached the following conclusions:

  • The FCA is at the cutting edge of new approaches to consumer protection.
  • There are real challenges in how conduct supervision will work in practice.
  • Boards and supervisors should work together to ensure mutually beneficial outcomes.