The FCA's new consumer duty: Putting your customers first

In the first episode of our new podcast series, Retail matters, our experts discussed the FCA's new Consumer Duty and what it means to those retailers authorised by the FCA.

What you need to know

In July 2022, the FCA confirmed that it would be introducing a higher standard of customer protection, requiring regulated firms to put their customers' needs first. The new consumer duty consists of three elements:

  1. New consumer principle. The new Principle states "A firm must act to deliver good outcomes for retail clients".
  2. Cross-cutting rules. The new rules requiring firms to act in good faith, avoid causing foreseeable harm and enabling and supporting retail customers to pursue their financial objectives will support the consumer principle and ensure firms meet the FCA's expectation around cultures and behaviours.
  3. The "four outcomes". There is a suite of other rules and guidance relating to the quality of firms' products and services, the price and value of products and services, consumer understanding and support for consumers.

In essence, this means consumers should receive communications they can understand, products and services that meet their needs and offer fair value and that consumers get the support they need, when they need it.

The FCA is giving firms 12 months, by 31 July 2023, to implement the new rules for all new and existing products and services that are currently on sale. The FCA has also set interim deadlines that firms must comply with, including for Boards to agree implementation plans by 31 October 2022, and for manufacturers to complete all necessary reviews for open products/services by the end of April 2023. In light of this, retailers undertaking regulated activities should now be taking steps to prepare for the new duty taking effect.

Listen to our new podcast

Given the wide ranging and potentially complex issues which the new duty creates, our Retail Financial Services experts, Alan Hughes and Laura Autiero join Nathan Peacey in the first episode of Retail matters to discuss how the new FCA consumer duty will impact retailers and provides useful tips on how retailers can ensure they are ready to comply with the new FCA duty. Click here to listen to this podcast episode of Retail matters and to sign up to receive information about future episodes.

Our financial regulation, risk and compliance team have also created a draft report to guide retailers through the review and remediation process of every step of the consumer process to support the implementation of the new consumer duty. Get in touch with Alan and Laura for more information on the draft report or to discuss how the team can support you with your FCA needs.