A Government-commissioned report published today urged for better consumer services in banking and o...
A Government-commissioned report published today urged for better consumer services in banking and other financial services.
The Banking Services Consumer Codes Review Group has set out twelve recommendations to improve the benefits to consumers from the industries' voluntary codes of conduct.
Key recommendations include measures to make account-switching easier, an improvement in the information provided to customers, strengthening the processes for drawing up codes and more information on code compliance.
DeAnne Julius, chairperson of the Banking Services Consumer Codes Review Group, said: "While we found that there is much to commend about the current system of self-regulation through voluntary codes, we believe there are several areas where more should be done to help bank customers and sharpen competition."
She added: "Our Group developed its recommendations after an extensive consultation process. We believe the recommendations would help the market for banking services work more effectively and thereby deliver greater consumer benefits."
Responding to the Julius-led review of banking services codes, Economic Secretary Ruth Kelly added: "The report contains a number of useful recommendations directed at significantly improving competition and increasing the levels of customer service in banking services.
"We are therefore asking the bodies to whom the recommendations are directed to respond to these proposals. We look forward to the industry responding positively to the challenges that have been set."
The Government is asking those to whom the recommendations are directed to respond to the report by 30 September.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced the setting-up of the Banking Consumer Codes Review group as part of the Government response to the Cruickshank Report on Competition in UK Banking on 4 August 2000.
Don Cruickshank's report Competition in UK Banking: A Report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer was published on 20 March 2000. It is available on the Banking Review website at www.bankreview.org.uk, together with press releases issued by the Banking Review team. The Government Response to the Cruickshank report can be found on the Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk
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