The meeting which the FCA held with leaders of the UK’s major high street banks certainly stirred interest across the financial services sector yesterday as we reported here on IFA Magazine.
And then, late yesterday afternoon, the FCA released the following statement, detailing the conversation and that they will be reporting further on the situation regarding the savings market by the end of the month.
“Many people are feeling the squeeze from rising interest rates and prices, so it is more critical than ever that they are offered fair and competitive saving rates. We held a constructive meeting today, which builds on work we have been doing over several months – to monitor the savings markets and the decisions made. We have challenged firms where their decision making has been slow.
“Through preparation for our new consumer duty, which requires the firms we regulate to put consumer interests at their heart, we have started to see some positive action by banks and building societies to improve their rates, and to ensure their customers are benefiting from better value products. We now want to see that progress accelerate. We are also increasingly seeing customers switching their savings products to those with higher rates. We continue to urge savers to shop around to make sure they’re getting the best deal.
“We want to see a competitive market with fair value retail banking products – and with banks helping consumers to access them. We discussed how our consumer duty will set a new standard for firms from the end of July, including on savings rates. We set out that expectation to bank and building society leaders in today’s meeting.
“Those in the room recognised that they needed to do more to help their consumers access the best rates. We too recognise there is a need for further guidance, and will continue our focus on this.
“We have previously committed to reporting at the end of the month on how the savings market is supporting savers to benefit from higher interest rates. We will set out then whether further steps are needed.”