RegulationMar 23 2023

FCA introduces consumer section on website in engagement push

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FCA introduces consumer section on website in engagement push

The Financial Conduct Authority has introduced a new consumer section on its website to encourage people to feel comfortable and confident to engage with the regulator.

The regulator launched this in March following extensive research into how and why consumers engage with the FCA, what it can offer them, and how it can do better.

The FCA said when consumers come to the website it’s often when something has gone wrong, so it is important to give them the information they need to help them resolve their issue. 

A previous review of the FCA’s channels revealed that consumers were often overwhelmed with the site, and unclear where to find the information they needed.

One user said: “It doesn’t feel like the website has been designed for people like me.”

To address this, the FCA said it took a look at what it communicates to consumers. 

“We looked at the subjects we should be covering, and the subjects that were better covered by members of the regulatory family,” it said.

“Our new section doesn’t try to engage consumers on all financial matters, we’re not a financial educator. Instead, it’s streamlined to focus on the ‘five Rs’.”

These are:

  • Risks: To help consumers identify and avoid unwanted risks, and understand what those risks mean for them.
  • Rights: To make sure consumers understand their rights, and what they should expect from firms.​​
  • Remedies: To make sure consumers know how to complain and claim compensation if their provider goes out of business.
  • Rule changes: Where consumers are affected by rule changes, to make it completely clear when they need to act.
  • Reporting: If they suspect a scam, or have experienced poor conduct, to encourage consumers to report to the FCA.

The regulator said it is providing a service for people who could be in distress, so it is trying to make any interactions as stress-free as possible.

This means writing clearly and accessibly about technical subjects, not overwhelming readers with details they do not need, being approachable and avoiding jargon.

Where it does have to include a technical term, the FCA said it has introduced a new A-Z glossary of financial terms, with quick definitions and external links.

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