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MP takes local campaign for financial watchdog to Westminster

May 18, 2012 2:51 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today backed Which?'s 'Watchdog not Lapdog' campaign. Tim is backing the campaign thanks to the large number of local people from the South Lakes who alerted him to campaign and asked him to back it.

The Financial Services Bill which is currently going through parliament will change how the financial services industry is regulated, creating a new regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with responsibility for protecting consumers.

Tim who today adoptedMilothe Which? Watchdog.Milobeat over 200 other dogs to become the face of Which?'s Watchdog not Lapdog campaign. He represents everything a financial watchdog should be - ready to show his teeth, bark at poor customer service, and sniff out dodgy financial products.

Tim agrees that after the financial crisis and disasters like the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis selling scandal, the new regulator must:

  • · Be ready to show its teeth - issue fines that are big enough to act as deterrents and promote competition by making sure products are transparent, simple to compare and easy to switch between
  • · Not be afraid to bark - tell consumers when firms are found to have broken the rules, what it is investigating and what it is going to do to stop it.
  • · Sniff out dodgy products - take a more proactive approach and ban dodgy financial products and misleading adverts before they cause problems. Lessons must be learnt from the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal.

Tim said: "Local people have contacted me and asked me to back the campaign and after reading about the issue I was delighted to support the watchdog. I will now take their concerns directly to government and do all I can to make sure a strong financial a reality."

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, further commented: "People have told us they want a regulator that stands up to the financial services industry and fights on behalf of the consumer. The Which? Watchdog represents everything the new financial regulator must be. We need a financial watchdog that is ready to show its teeth to the banks, bark at poor customer service and sniff out dodgy financial products."