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The Consumer Duty

13/07/22

Consumer Duty at-a-glance

The new Consumer Duty from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) marks a fundamental shift for the financial services industry. Sitting at the heart of the changes is the new Consumer Principle, which will move the bar from 'treating customers fairly' to striving to deliver good outcomes for clients. The new rules are expected by the end of July 2022 and will become mandatory by April 2023.

The new proposals set out a framework that means adviser firms, of all sizes, will need to measure whether they’re delivering good outcomes for customers across a number of areas. This includes the quality of communications, the appropriateness of the products that have been recommended, the quality of the service offered and whether support is provided to help customers make financial decisions about their future.

Underpinning this central principle are three rules to help firms understand the FCA's new expectations on how they should conduct themselves to achieve good outcomes for their clients. Firms must:

With these changes, the FCA is acting to ensure all advisers understand their obligation to help to better protect the interests of consumers. And we might find the new rules should help to improve the reputation of the financial services industry in general for consumers, giving them more confidence in seeking and receiving financial advice.

Of course, we, like many adviser firms already work with the best outcomes of clients in mind, particularly when discussing protection. However, the Consumer Duty should ensure that clients understand it's our regulatory duty to deliver good outcomes for the future and to protect against your biggest protection risks. And that it's important to consider your needs beyond basic protection, such as life cover to protect a mortgage, to help you build better financial resilience into your life should the unexpected occur. 

 

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