David Prosser: An idea worth pinching

Click to follow

Outlook This should be fun. Financial journalists have always compared notes with each other on the companies about which they receive the greatest number of complaints – the same names crop up with remarkable consistency. Now the Financial Services Authority is to publish official data on complaints, with league tables showing which of the companies it polices attract most flak. There's one ranking that financial services companies won't want to top.

The disclosure of this data is long overdue. It should give companies with poor performance and customer service a deserved – and very public – kick up the backside.

Still, why stop at financial services companies? The blacklists that journalists compare these days actually include surprisingly few of the traditional offenders, with banks, insurers and others having cleaned up their act in recent times. Telecoms companies, particularly in the broadband market, and home energy suppliers are much more common sources of frustration.

There is no reason why the regulators that police these sectors couldn't do something similar to what the FSA now plans. Indeed, Ofcom and Ofgem, the watchdogs in question, should simply pinch the idea.