UK’s financial regulator has dismissed lawmakers’ demands to ease bank account opening rules for customers.
FCA CEO Andrew Bailey said: “We recognise that the criteria for opening a basic bank account vary slightly between providers.
“It is our understanding that individuals are already well served by the market for basic bank accounts, making the need to change account eligibility requirements unnecessary.
“Instead, we believe that individuals could be helped by improved signposting to help them identify where they might find a basic bank account that meets their needs.”
The decision is in response to certain recommendations made by the Treasury Select Committee last month.
Among its recommendations include banks’ requirement to fund shared hubs, along with preservation of bank branches and free-to-use ATMs.
The Committee also stressed on a legal duty of care for firms that would mandate them to act in customers’ best interests.
On this issue, Bailey said: “I have sympathy with this and think there is a good case for enhancing the standing and practical impact of our principles, rather than just writing more rules.”
The decision has not gone down well with the Treasury Committee.
Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan stated: “The Treasury Committee’s report made a series of wide-ranging recommendations for the regulator and the Government to consider; recommendations for how consumers’ access to financial services can be improved.
“But the vast majority of the FCA’s reply to our recommendations appears to be a holding response or lacking in desire to effect any change.”
Morgan believes that the FCA should again consider the issues with a “far more inquisitive and curious attitude”.