The FCA’s deadline for complying with the Consumer Duty is upon us. 31st July is a milestone for the industry with major efforts put in by firms of all shapes and sizes. But of course, in many ways it’s not an end but a beginning, with much more to come.
Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon comments: “The FCA’s Consumer Duty officially goes live on 31st July, representing a ‘Brave New World’ for our industry and consumers alike. Thousands of individuals and firms have put in great efforts to reach this point and should pause to reflect on the consistently good outcomes which our mutual customers should enjoy in future. It’s gratifying to see the FCA recognising this collective effort.
“However, any pause for reflection needs to be brief. The 31st July milestone is the beginning, not the end. We can all expect continued scrutiny from the FCA which will be collecting data to review firms’ delivery. Adviser firms can expect an ongoing focus in areas such as the value of advisory services, the identification of target markets, clarity of communication and tailored support for customers with characteristics of vulnerability.
“I also see the Consumer Duty continuing to evolve over time. The external environment will generate newly foreseeable harms for us to protect our customers from. And I’ve no doubt that FCA expectations will also develop, with the Duty sure to be referenced in every future policy paper, review and consultation from the FCA.
“Preparing for the Consumer Duty has led to great collaboration between advisers and providers and we must all make sure that continues. Despite some early industry cynicism, I do believe we’re seeing something good come out of the Duty. Over time, this can only help improve the trust consumers have in the value our industry provides.”