BBA Starts Consumer Panel to Study Simplifying British Banking

The British Bankers’ Association, the lobby group for the country’s lenders, will form a panel to study making banking easier to understand for consumers.

The committee will look at simplifying the terms and conditions of loans and accounts as well as how to make it easier to compare savings rates, the London-based lobby group said in an e-mailed statement today. The group will be led by Gillian Guy, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice, a charity that provides guidance to consumers on their rights.

“We want to work to make banking easier to understand by looking at things like the small print and savings rates,” BBA CEO Anthony Browne said in the statement. “We also want to identify issues that could cause problems for consumers in the future and work together to resolve those swiftly.”

British banks are trying to boost regulators’ and politicians’ confidence in the industry after a series of scandals ranging from interest-rate rigging to the sale of insurance products to consumers who didn’t require them. U.K. banks have earmarked more than 13 billion pounds ($20 billion) to compensate clients mis-sold payment-protection cover alone.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said in February regulators will get the power to break up banks, hardening legislation aimed at making lenders safer, and bank payment systems will be regulated to make the system more responsive and allow new entrants into the industry.

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