The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have jointly published a discussion paper entitled "Consumer complaints (emerging risks and mass claims) (DP10/1)". To view the discussion paper and press release, please click here and here.

The discussion paper considers, among other things, fair consumer redress, fair complaint handling by firms, emerging risks and mass claims.

A key proposal in the discussion paper is the creation of a joint coordination committee, consisting of representatives from the FSA, the FOS and the OFT. The committee's main role is to increase consumer protection by coordinating analysis of new and emerging risks and mass claims, and to determine effective ways of dealing with them.

The discussion paper also seeks views on a number of other issues including:

1. the scope for improvements to the FSA's complaints handling rules (Chapter 1 of the Dispute Resolution: Complaints sourcebook) and to the exchange and use of information between the FSA, the OFT and the FOS.

2. how firms can be encouraged to proactively deal with new and emerging risks before they turn into widespread issues.

3. how mass claims can be identified and addressed more effectively.

The period for responses to the discussion paper closes on 10 June 2010.