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The Banks Act makes little mention of market conduct, and to date the industry has enjoyed the benefits of self-regulation. The banking watchdog was historically not the Financial Services Board but the industry’s own voluntary ombudsman scheme, funded by the industry and costing customers nothing. The nature of this scheme could change radically with the launch of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. It finally aims to interfere with banks as much as insurers, unit trusts and asset managers have been interfered with for decades. But a victim of the reform could be the Ombudsman for Banking Services, which could eventually be subsumed into the super ombud scheme that will be part of the civil service. It is certainly not an appropriate time for change. The phrase "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" comes to mind. Mostly because of the increase in cases around online banking, the ombudsman has seen a 35% increase in cases to more than 7,000 a year. The new ombudsman, Reana (pronounc...

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