Banks launch consumer board to improve customer treatment

Tim Wallace
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CONSUMER campaigners and retail bankers will meet in the coming weeks in the first of a regular series of gatherings designed to improve the lenders’ conduct and stop crises like the PPI scandal from arising in future.

The sector’s reputation has taken a huge blow in recent years from a series of mis-selling scandals with critics complaining banks no longer serve customers but instead see them only as targets for short-term profits.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has recruited Citizens Advice chief Gillian Guy to run the consumer panel, alongside representatives from debt charity Step Change, the Money Advice Service and Age UK.

Its first meeting will look at ways to simplify the small print in savings services, to make interest rates clearer and to help ill customers manage their finances.

“The industry is determined to constantly improve the service it offers,” said BBA boss Anthony Browne. “We want to identify issues that could cause problems for consumers and work together to resolve those swiftly.”

The panel will report into a group of senior retail bankers who form banks’ policies on areas of mutual interest.