Consumer duty  

FCA to run webinar series to prepare firms for consumer duty

FCA to run webinar series to prepare firms for consumer duty
 

The Financial Conduct Authority announced a series of webinars that will be held in October and November to help firms understand the regulator’s expectations and prepare for implementation of the consumer duty. 

The FCA said the webinars will be of interest to regulated firms, trade associations, professional bodies and compliance consultants and will be split by sector. 

There will be webinars on insurance and consumer investments, pensions and asset management on October 18.

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The regulator will hold another two on banking and payments and retail lending on November 1.

During the sessions, the FCA will focus on:

  • Its expectations for firms under the consumer duty and key milestones during the implementation period 
  • What is outcomes-based regulation?  
  • What the consumer duty means for your sector

Each webinar will cover some non-sector specific information and is are open to non-sector members.

All webinars will also be available on-demand following the live event.

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

Currently firms are bound by FCA rules and principles to treat customers fairly, which include offering products and services at fair prices.

But in May, the regulator said it had seen evidence of practices which caused consumer harm, including firms providing information which was misleadingly presented or difficult for consumers to understand.

In July of this year, the FCA confirmed its plans to introduce a consumer duty, and last week it urged IFAs to take the consumer duty seriously, adding that it should be seen as a "significant regulatory initiative".

Firms’ should have agreed their implementation plans and be able to show they have scrutinised and challenged the plans to ensure they are deliverable and robust to meet the new standards by October 31, 2022. 

The implementation deadline for next and existing products or services has been set for the end of July next year, while the deadline for closed products and services is set for the following July, 2024. 

jane.matthews@ft.com