abrdn has launched a range of practical support to help adviser businesses in their preparation for the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new Consumer Duty regime.
The material will give advisers an overview of the Consumer Duty and timescales for implementation, along with dedicated step-by-step guides as they get started on the four key outcomes of the regulation:
- Products and Services – support to ensure the design of products and services meet the needs of clients in firms’ identified target markets.
- Price and Value – support to ensure the products and services are fit for purpose and represent fair value for clients.
- Consumer Understanding – support to ensure communications equip clients with the right information, at the right time, to allow them to make effective decisions and take appropriate action.
- Consumer Support – support to ensure clients can act on decisions without facing unreasonable barriers.
Alastair Black, Head of Industry Change, abrdn, says: “We’ve developed this range of practical support with the help of our adviser partners to get them started on developing a suitable framework for implementing the Consumer Duty.
“Good client outcomes are already wired into adviser firms’ day-to-day operations. Many will already be delivering on what the Consumer Duty aims to achieve by virtue of existing regulatory alignment and the processes that are needed to give ‘good’, suitable client-specific advice. It’s why I’m confident that compliance won’t mean a radical overhaul of systems and procedures for the majority of firms. However, there are still steps that need to be taken, and advisers may need support getting everything in order.
“Taking prompt action now to review the rules against their existing systems and processes will pay dividends in understanding what is needed, with an implementation plan that has to be approved by the end of October, to ensure everything can be done by the end of July 2023.”
The Consumer Duty support information can be found here and will be updated as further materials are developed.