The FSA says new retail banking regulation for deposit taking and payment services will promote fairness for consumers.
However, from November, these arrangements will be replaced by new FSA rules which all banks, building societies and credit unions must follow. The regulator will have the power to fine firms if they fail to comply with the rules to the detriment of their customers.
Notable changes for consumers will include the requirement to provide a prompt and efficient service to help customers switch accounts. This would apply more widely than the commitments in the banking codes, for example to cash ISAs, where the FSA has seen delays in the past.
Another key area will be the provision of information about a bank's product and services to people before they decide whether to become a customer rather than afterwards. Service must also remain prompt, efficient and fair for the duration of the relationship.
Firms will need to comply with an explicit requirement to treat customers fairly under the new rules, including when dealing with customers in financial difficulty and processing payments.
Jon Pain, FSA retail managing director, says: "These are important new standards that firms will need to meet. They will affect consumers' everyday interaction with banks.
"Before the new rules come into force, the FSA will publish comprehensive information for consumers detailing their rights and outlining what they can expect from their banking provider."
Areas of retail banking which fall outside the FSA's remit, such as overdrafts and credit card lending, will continue to be regulated under the Consumer Credit Act.
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