DEMSA Summary: Training / Duty / 2024 horizon scanning / Amplifi event on 21 February

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

In this weeks update an overview of the latest trends and regulatory updates in the financial services, debt management, and credit advisory sectors, this bulletin addresses key issues such as the forthcoming FCA ‘portfolio’ letter, consumer duty implications, financial vulnerability, technological advancements in debt advice, childcare support initiatives, mortgage rate fluctuations, and ethical considerations in financial disputes.

It highlights the industry’s movement towards greater regulatory compliance, technological integration, and consumer support, underscoring the importance of staying informed and adaptable in a dynamically evolving financial landscape.

Key Points

  1. Anticipation of an FCA ‘portfolio’ letter and the upcoming CONC 8 review.
  2. Impact of the FCA’s Consumer Duty in raising standards of consumer protection.
  3. PayPlan’s renewal of the BSI ISO 22458 Kitemark focusing on consumer vulnerability.
  4. Money Advice Trust’s report indicating significant financial difficulties among UK adults.
  5. Innovations in simplifying debt advice collateral through the Amplified Global project.
  6. Promotion of affordable broadband tariffs under the Consumer Duty.
  7. Government-funded childcare initiatives impacting financial planning for families.
  8. The changing landscape of mortgage rates and their implications on consumer finance.
  9. Insights into improving customer interactions and regulatory compliance from a recent white paper.
  10. FOS consultation on charging claims management companies for disputes.
  11. Importance of transparency in the inclusion of claimant data in financial records.
  12. New training resources for handling joint Debt Management Plans.

Key Statistics

  • 4.7 million people starting the New Year with significant financial worries (Money Advice Trust).
  • 17.2 million UK adults expecting their finances to worsen by the end of 2024.
  • Drop in IVAs in 2023 compared to 2022, with other statutory debt solutions below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Rising trend in Breathing Space applications and DRO applications, as per recent Insolvency Service statistics.
  • £54.4 million of redress secured for over 228,000 customers by the FCA as of December 2023.
See also  DEMSA Summary: IVA voting / DROs / FCA news / FOS / MaPS consultation / Collaborations / Events

Key Takeaways

  1. The financial services sector must prepare for upcoming regulatory changes, particularly with the FCA ‘portfolio’ letter and CONC 8 review.
  2. Understanding and implementing the Consumer Duty is crucial for enhancing consumer protection.
  3. Emphasizing consumer vulnerability in financial services can lead to better customer experiences and compliance.
  4. Awareness of the growing financial challenges faced by consumers is essential for effective debt advice and management.
  5. Technological advancements in debt advice, like simplified communication, are key to better customer engagement.
  6. The role of financial advisors extends to informing clients about social welfare benefits, including broadband tariffs and childcare support.
  7. Professionals in financial services must stay informed about mortgage rate changes and their impact on clients.
  8. Implementing ‘good culture’ practices is vital for improving customer relations and adhering to regulatory standards.
  9. Legal and ethical considerations, including the charging of CMCs, are important for maintaining industry standards.
  10. Transparency and accuracy in financial records are essential for trust and compliance.
  11. Ongoing training and development are crucial for adapting to new challenges and changes in the sector.
  12. Staying informed and adaptable is key in a dynamically evolving financial landscape.

Access all the updates here

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