- Majority of IFAs think FCA has been unclear (70%), unhelpful (66%) and unresponsive (62%) in the build up
- Almost half (48%) are more concerned about the risk of complaints, investigation, or penalties – with 10% feeling much more concerned
With the Consumer Duty deadline fast approaching, new research from global research and insights agency Opinium reveals that one in seven (15%) IFAs still do not feel clear about advising clients on what good customer outcomes look like.
Three in five (61%) say that they are somewhat clear about what good customer outcomes look like, while 25% are very clear.
Majority of IFAs think FCA has been unclear, unresponsive and unhelpful on Consumer Duty
When it comes to the FCA’s role in the process of developing and implementing new consumer duty regulation, 70% of IFAs think the regulator has been unclear. Two thirds (66%) feel the FCA has been unhelpful, and 62% think it has been unresponsive. A slight majority (54%) also thinks the FCA has been unreasonable.
Almost half of IFAs feel concerned about potential complaints and penalties
With the FCA warning it will act much faster and more assertively where firms fail to meet the requirements of the Duty, there is increased concern among IFAs about the potential implications they may face. Almost half (48%) say they are now more concerned about the risk of complaints, investigation, or penalties on their practice – with 10% feeling much more concerned.
Consumers not clued up about the Duty
Opinium also surveyed UK adults around their level of knowledge and understanding of Consumer Duty. Less than a quarter (23%) have heard of it, although 12% of this group admitted that they still don’t know what it is. Almost three quarters (72%) have never heard of Consumer Duty.
Awareness is greater among those who receive financial advice, with almost three in five (58%) having heard of the Duty.
Alexa Nightingale, Head of Financial Services research at Opinium commented: “Consumer Duty affects all financial services firms, many of which will be required to make major changes to adhere to the new rules. This will of course have an impact on IFAs and their practices. With the deadline approaching in a week’s time, it’s therefore worrying that 15% of IFAs don’t feel clear about advising clients on what good customer outcomes look like, with a more substantial number being concerned about the potential ramifications they could face.
“Feedback on the FCA’s role has not been glowing so far, so it will be interesting to see how the first few weeks of the Duty play out, and whether the FCA can paint itself in a more positive light among the adviser community.”
The research was carried out using Opinium’s IFA omnibus, the UK’s only dedicated research community of IFAs.