Watchdog says bank scandals are nearing end

Tim Wallace
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TOP CITY watchdog Martin Wheatley yesterday hinted that banking scandals could be coming to an end as lenders scrap the controversial sales incentives that led to crises like the PPI scandal.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) boss said the biggest banks have taken all of the right steps to end the culture of over-selling to customers who should not have been buying the products.

It comes after new figures showed complaints to banks falling for the first time in three years, as PPI complaints at last begin to slow down.

“The FCA’s on-going investigation into incentives suggests several UK banks are making strides on reforming reward structures – responding well to guidance,” he told the British Bankers’ Association annual conference.

“On top of this, we are seeing evidence of others moving away from formulaic incentives to a more balanced approach. And it’s encouraging to see larger firms increasing tracking of customer outcomes in face-to-face sales.”

However, he also added that this was based on early evidence and he still has some remaining concerns over areas like investment sales.

The PPI scandal has cost banks almost £20bn so far in redress payments. And the FCA has cracked down on other areas like financial advice, stopping advisors taking commission for sales and instead pushing them to charge up front fees, in the interests of transparency.