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U.K. Bank Watchdog to Ban ‘Flawed’ Products, Agency’s Chief Says

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The agency replacing the U.K.’s financial regulator will be stricter in policing banks than its predecessor, including banning products it decides are “inherently flawed,” the authority’s chief said.

The Financial Conduct Authority, which is due to start work in 2013, will use “specialist teams” to probe lenders’ activities, Martin Wheatley, the agency’s chief executive-designate, said at a banking conference in London today. The regulator will need to make “better, bolder and faster decisions” than the Financial Services Authority, he said.

“Intervention could be a ban on the sale of a particular type of product to all customers, or to certain categories of customer,” Wheatley said. He called on U.K lawmakers to give the FCA enough flexibility to use the powers.

The FCA will take over consumer protection tasks currently carried out by the FSA, which is being abolished as part of a supervisory overhaul in the wake of the financial crisis that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at jbrunsden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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