PricewaterhouseCoopers is to conduct a programme of visits to financial institutions in a move to monitor compliance with the Banking Code.
The firm will act on behalf of the Banking Code Standards Board, which has taken the step to ensure personal customers get a fair deal from banks and building societies.
PwC will carry out the visits from January to March, but the institutions to be visited will be chosen by the board. There will also be mystery ‘shopping checks’.
BCSB said where weaknesses in code compliance are identified, institutions will be required to take corrective action. And it adds that further failure to comply could result in public censure or expulsion from the Banking Code.
Feedback from the monitoring will allow an assessment of the practical implications of the Code, helping to identify problem areas that need interpretation, clarification or reinforcement.
Paul Clarke, partner responsible for code compliance monitoring at PwC, said: ‘Monitoring will be based on proven methodologies which have been pilot tested in the latter part of 1999 and early 2000 to ensure they are practical and effective.’
He added that the work builds on expertise gained from code monitoring work for the Association of British Insurers and participating insurance companies since 1996 and more recently for the Mortgage Code Compliance Board.’
Seymour Fortescue, BCSB chief executive, said: ‘We have chosen PwC for their experience in this area and for their reputation for objectivity and thoroughness.’