Financial products and services play such an important part in the everyday lives of consumers from paying for goods and services, to insuring against future risks, saving for retirement, transferring money and borrowing to meet short and longer term needs. While they can deliver consumer benefits, they can undoubtedly also present risks if the right product is not sold to the right consumer in the right way. Our consumer protection framework requires all regulated firms to act in consumers’ best interests and, in their day to day dealings, to treat them fairly, with dignity and respect and support them in making good financial decisions.
Over the next few years as the economy and our financial system continue to recover, our consumer protection focus will be on requiring firms to make the essential cultural shift to putting the consumer first and to demonstrate that this shift is deeply rooted and sustained throughout the organisation.
It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank has published our first Consumer Protection Outlook Report which sets out our assessment of key existing and emerging risks for consumers. This will shape our consumer protection priorities and agenda over the next few years.
We will continue to monitor the consumer protection environment, enhance our evidence base and consumer protection framework and engage with our key partners, including consumers, industry, government and others so that together we can focus on getting it right for consumers, now and in the future.