The Which? Positive Change Award for 2014 has been awarded to Martin Wheatley, CEO of the new Financial Conduct Authority. Commenting on the award, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“Martin Wheatley has received a Which? Positive Change Award for starting to shift the culture of financial regulation and for making a clear commitment to put the interests of consumers first. He faced huge challenges when taking up his role, with trust in the banking industry severely damaged by a series of scandals.
“Under Martin’s leadership the FCA has shown a willingness to understand the behaviour of real consumers, to tackle the minority of people working in financial services who have abused the trust that consumers place in them, and to prioritise improvements in key markets such as consumer credit, insurance and savings. The challenge to rebuild consumer trust in banking will take time but Which? believes that under Martin the much needed change in culture has begun.”
Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of the FCA, said:
“Not so long ago Which? was a frequent and vocal critic of the FSA, so this award is a milestone. It is a testament to the hard work of the 3000 people at our Canary Wharf and Edinburgh offices, and I would like to take this chance to thank them all.
“In our first year in operation we have made a real difference. But before the FCA came into force, few – and I include ourselves in that – would have predicted the effect we have had. We have hard-wired stronger consumer protections into the system, but the industry is now starting to deliver positive change.
“Banks, lenders, insurers, investment firms: they all get it. Good conduct and cultural change are high on their agenda. So in many ways this award is not just about me, or the FCA as an organisation – it’s about the financial industry as a whole, and the positive journey it has embarked upon.
“The hard work is not over, but we are on the right course.”