Regulation  

SimplyBiz releases consumer duty guide

SimplyBiz releases consumer duty guide
 

SimplyBiz has released a ‘comprehensive guide’ to help advisers navigate the consumer duty’s final rules.

The firm's next wave of support aims to help advisers using a gap analysis tool, implementation plan framework, dedicated compliance visits, and a programme of interactive workshops. 

This comes following the online consumer duty hub launched by SimplyBiz in June for its member firms.

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At the time, the company said the hub would feature a range of guides, presentations, and solutions to help its firms prepare for the implementation of the new regulation on July 31. 

The latest programme of support follows an intensive schedule of activity across the start of the year, including a 90-minute-deep dive event in August which saw nearly 1,300 bookings.

Janice Laing, managing director of Compliance First, and lead of SimplyBiz’s consumer duty support project, said: “This programme was created by expertise and input from across the entire business, ensuring that we are providing support to all firms, relevant to the area in which they are operating. 

“Every firm will have certain elements in common – the need to analyse where they are now, what they need to do to meet the consumer duty requirements, and have an understanding of individual responsibilities – but there will also, of course, be entirely individual needs and considerations.”

Earlier this year, SimplyBiz said the launch of its hub follows a year-long programme of support on consumer duty such as events, communications, guides, and policy updates. 

Laing added: “Our programme of support is flexible, comprehensive, and practical, and we hope it will help every firm we serve to feel confident about their preparations for the upcoming consumer duty milestones”.         

The Financial Conduct Authority first set out plans for a new consumer duty in May 2021, stating it was designed to create a higher level of consumer protection in retail financial services.

In a consultation paper published in December, the FCA said it would press ahead with its proposed new consumer duty, with an implementation date of April 30, 2023, nine months after final rules are due to be published in July 2022. 

But the industry has called for certainty and more time to implement the consumer duty, calling the proposed time frame of nine months insufficient. 

Following this, in a policy statement published in July, the FCA said it would give firms an additional three months, until July 31, 2023, to implement the new consumer duty rules.

sonia.rach@ft.com 

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