The Transparency Task Force (TTF) has published an open letter to the Financial Conduct Authority's new chief executive Nikhil Rathi with a "wish list" of changes it would like the regulator to implement.
The TTF said that while is aligned with the FCA's objective to protect consumers, there was a "great deal that the FCA could and should tighten up on".
TTF founder Andy Agathangelou listed a number of points in the letter where it would like improvements could be made, including consumer protection and online advertising.
The group is calling for greater engagement with pro-consumer campaign groups, as it feels the FCA is missing opportunities to "benefit from the insights and experiences of campaigners and the consumers they represent".
It said it wants greater protection for consumers from misleading online advertising from scammers and foreign exchange companies.
The TTF also wants the FCA to explore how to make the Financial Services Consumer Panel visibly stronger and more effective as it has "become rather tokenistic".
Other suggestions include asking the government to extend the regulatory perimeter to make it less porous and the introduction of database of firms that have been penalised by the regulator.
Agathangelou said engaging with critics will help the FCA improve as an organisation and overcome its conflict of interest issues.
"The FCA is a large and complex organisation with many competing demands placed on it," he said.
"I recognise that being an effective conduct regulator is very challenging and it would be unrealistic to expect the FCA to get it right every time."
He said that the FCA had deep-rooted operational, cultural and conflict of interest issues.
"We do not know all the answers, but we do believe 'the asks' that are set out would help.
"I believe there is wisdom in the phrase 'progress begins with realism' so if I had to suggest just one thing it would be for [the FCA] to actively engage with [their] critics - while it may not always be comfortable or pleasant to do so, I think it will help the FCA to become a better regulator."
The TTF's wish-list in full:
● Explore how to make the Financial Services Consumer Panel visibly stronger and more effective; we feel it has become rather tokenistic.
● Do much more to prevent consumers being harmed; particularly through clamping down on misleading online advertising by scammers and some Foreign Exchange companies - I'll follow up separately with examples of misleading advertising in the FX market.
● Get behind our initiative to bring Violation Tracker to the UK; this is a regulatory database benefiting US regulators and investors that could be replicated here.
● Increase the deterrent effect of enforcement actions by following through on the provisions of the Senior Managers Certification Regime; and in all cases demanding disgorgement of all gains made by malefactors for distribution to affected consumers.
● Ask the government to extend the regulatory perimeter and make it less porous.
● Build on the FCA's mission to identify and celebrate 'exemplary conduct,' as a counterpoint to its enforcement activities.
● Positively engage with our new #regulatorswatch group; a useful forum for you.
● Establish whether the FCA is good at absorbing constructive criticism or whether it may have a predisposition towards defensiveness.
● Make the complaints scheme fully compliant with Financial Services Act 2012.
● Publicly reaffirm and make effective your commitment to protect whistleblowers.
● Use your excellent 'Duty of Care/Best Interests' initiative to drive the paradigm shift the FCA needs; do please take time to read our consultation response at the bottom of this page.