DEMSA Summary: ‘Intelligibility’ event outputs / FCA survey results / Joint DMP training / Apprenticeship / Collaborations / Events

Summary – Find the full update here (including all the links & more)

This weeks bulletin – an update on various initiatives, regulatory changes, and industry developments that occurred in February 2024, spanning topics such as financial conduct authority (FCA) updates, energy price caps, consumer duty, data protection, financial education, and collaborations within the financial sector.

Insights from events like the ‘Intelligibility’ event on the 21st, updates on energy price caps, fair value assessments, data protection updates, and the importance of financial education among young people.

It also covers collaborations between different organizations aimed at improving customer support and financial skills, alongside upcoming events and training opportunities for professionals within the sector.

Key Points

  1. FCA released several updates on 20 February 2024, including a speech focused on closed products relevant to Debt Buyers.
  2. The ‘Intelligibility’ event on 21 February 2024 highlighted customer understanding and communication strategies.
  3. Energy price caps will decrease to £1,690 per year from 1 April to 30 June 2024, marking a drop from the previous quarter.
  4. StepChange calls for targeted debt write-offs due to record levels of energy debt among households.
  5. Fair value assessments under the Consumer Duty emphasize the importance of clear, value-based product offerings.
  6. The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill’s timeline has been extended to 12 December 2024.
  7. A significant percentage of young people leave school without essential money management skills, according to MaPS.
  8. Collaborations, such as Digital DRA with Brsk and Aperidata with Paragon, aim to enhance customer support and credit scoring through open banking data.
  9. Vulnerable households report high levels of damp and mould, highlighting the need for support services.
  10. Upcoming events and training focus on topics like consumer duty, operational resilience, and debt advice.
  11. The FCA emphasizes the need for firms to ensure good customer outcomes and tackle issues proactively.
  12. The importance of financial education and the need for more comprehensive training and resources in this area are underscored.
See also  DEMSA Summary: Volume providers / Gambling / Parking fines / Cold calling ban / MaPS deficit budgets / Events / Duty training

Key Statistics

  • Energy price cap reduction to £1,690 per year from April to June 2024.
  • Targeted write-offs are essential for households as energy debt rises to a record £2.9 billion.
  • 76% of teachers believe pupils finish education without necessary financial knowledge.
  • Over the course of 2023, the average amount of energy arrears per StepChange client increased by 27%.
  • In January 2024, 19,025 clients accessed full debt advice through StepChange, a 65% increase from December 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Regulatory updates and speeches from the FCA are crucial for industry stakeholders to adapt and align their practices.
  • Events focused on intelligibility and customer understanding are vital for improving communication strategies within the financial sector.
  • The reduction in energy price caps reflects changing market conditions but highlights ongoing challenges with household energy debt.
  • Fair value assessments under the Consumer Duty stress the need for transparent and value-based product offerings.
  • Updates to data protection regulations and guidance on generative AI and the EU Artificial Intelligence Act indicate evolving compliance landscapes.
  • Financial education among young people remains a critical area for improvement, with a significant role for schools and financial service providers.
  • Collaborations between various organizations aim to enhance customer support, financial skills, and operational efficiency.
  • Addressing vulnerabilities and providing support for households, especially those affected by energy poverty, is a growing concern.
  • Upcoming events and training opportunities offer professionals resources to stay informed and improve practices.
  • The financial sector’s focus on proactive issue resolution and good customer outcomes is more important than ever.
  • The importance of comprehensive training and stakeholder involvement in policy and practice updates is highlighted.
  • The bulletin underscores the interconnectedness of regulatory changes, industry initiatives, and educational efforts in shaping the financial services landscape.
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