Fintel expands product range ahead of consumer duty

Fintel expands product range ahead of consumer duty

Fintel has expanded its product lines within its research and fintech division in response to ongoing market demand driven by new regulation.

The expanded product line comes ahead of the new consumer duty and will be operating under the Defaqto brand.

Fintel said Defaqto, the ratings and fintech business, has seen consistent growth in usage over the past three years for both its risk ratings and investment reviews.

Risk ratings provide an independent risk mapping of a financial product and allows wealth managers and financial advisers to select suitable investment portfolios for their clients. 

Due to the growth in regulation and focus on investment suitability, this service has grown to cover more than 1,500 financial products, Fintel said.

Investment reviews, which combine qualitative and quantitative analysis of an investment proposition, has expanded to cover more than 400 propositions in response to market demand.

Defaqto chief executive officer John Milliken, said: ‘’As we enter a new regulatory era of consumer duty and fair value pricing, Defaqto is uniquely positioned to support product providers such as banks and general insurers in designing appropriate products and evidencing the suitability and quality of their propositions. 

“With the largest product database in the UK, we’re able to provide crucial market insights that allow them to consider consumer suitability during product design, whilst our independent, expert ratings and reviews help to educate intermediaries and consumers in assessing the appropriateness of a product at point of purchase.”

The business has also seen greater demand for both its Matrix software solution, which enables product providers to assess the competitiveness of a proposition through benchmarking the market, as well as the star ratings service, an assessment of a product’s quality, features and benefits.

Fintel said the new era of consumer duty and fair value pricing is expected to further increase demand for Defaqto services as well of those of sister company, SimplyBiz, which provides regulatory support services to 3,000 intermediary firms.

Milliken added: “We expect this demand to continue with the incoming consumer duty regulation driving an increased focus on product fit and consumer outcomes, and as we continue to develop the insights and solutions the market needs, we are well positioned for future growth.’’

Last month, M&G signed a multi-year deal with Fintel to help it scale its distribution service.

The investment manager will use Fintel’s data - which is made up of behavioural insights and product research - to tailor its services and distribute them through financial intermediaries.

Fintel, the parent company of SimplyBiz, has already signed up 20 partners to use the subscription-based service in the past year, including the likes of Aviva, Fidelity, Schroders and Just.

Fintel saw a £2.9mn uptick in revenues last year which it put down in large part to the rapid digitisation of its SaaS and subscription-based business.

In 2020, the parent firm’s bosses had taken a pay cut, salaries and bonuses were frozen, and its mortgage valuation teams on the government's furlough scheme for a time, all in the wake of the pandemic and as part of a "short-term" cost saving plan.