EVENT SUMMARY ¦ Consumer Duty Update – Upcoming Questionnaires

Interesting discussion with Kevin Still, an update on Consumer Duty deadlines and also some of the recent questionaires being released by the FCA. What to expect and what does this mean longer term at it links to the Consumer duty rollout.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Significance of Recent FCA Actions: The FCA’s fines on HSBC (£6 million) and Marks & Spencer (£185 million in redress) highlight the serious regulatory landscape and the importance of compliance.
  2. Embedding Consumer Duty Principles: Firms must integrate consumer duty principles across all operations to ensure fair treatment and support for vulnerable consumers.
  3. Importance of Detailed Questionnaire Responses: Providing comprehensive and well-documented responses to FCA questionnaires is crucial to avoid further intrusive scrutiny.
  4. Vulnerability and Affordability Assessments: Detailed policies and robust practices around vulnerability and affordability assessments are necessary to meet FCA standards.
  5. Proactive Data Sharing: Sharing income and expenditure assessments where possible can enhance transparency and compliance.
  6. Consistent Communication Across Channels: Ensuring uniformity in consumer support across all communication platforms, including AI and chatbots, is essential.
  7. Management Information and Board Reports: Regular updates and detailed board reports showcasing continuous improvement are key for demonstrating compliance readiness.
  8. Impact of Technology in Compliance: Utilizing tools like speech analytics, sentiment analysis, and conversational AI can significantly aid in managing consumer interactions and vulnerability assessments.
  9. Cross-Referencing Data for Gaps: Leveraging multiple data sources to identify and address gaps in compliance and consumer support practices.
  10. Sector-Specific Challenges: Different sectors face unique challenges in implementing FCA guidelines, requiring tailored approaches to compliance.
  11. Evidence-Based Responses: Firms must provide concrete evidence of their compliance efforts, not just rhetorical assurances.
  12. Continuous Improvement Mandate: Regularly updating and improving consumer communication strategies is crucial for maintaining compliance and avoiding regulatory penalties.
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Key Discussion Points

  1. HSBC and M&S Fines: Discussion on the significance of recent fines and their implications for the industry.
  2. FCA Questionnaires: Strategies for responding to FCA questionnaires and the importance of comprehensive answers.
  3. Vulnerability Assessments: Challenges and best practices in conducting and documenting vulnerability assessments.
  4. Consumer Duty Principles: The need for embedding consumer duty principles in everyday operations.
  5. Data Requests and Surveys: Upcoming FCA data requests and their relevance to compliance and readiness.
  6. Use of Technology: The role of AI, chatbots, and other technologies in ensuring consistent consumer support.
  7. Board Report Deadlines: The July deadline for board reports and the need for evidence of ongoing compliance efforts.
  8. Quality Assurance: Ensuring consistent outcomes across all communication channels and improving quality assurance measures.
  9. Operational Challenges: The operational difficulties in implementing and managing compliance practices, especially in large-scale operations.
  10. Affordability and Debt Collection: The linkage between affordability assessments and effective debt collection practices.
  11. Cross-Referencing for Compliance: The importance of cross-referencing various data points to ensure comprehensive compliance.
  12. Future Trends: Anticipating future FCA actions and preparing for increased scrutiny and regulatory requirements.

Key Statistics

  1. HSBC Fine: £6 million fine with an additional £185 million in redress.
  2. Expected Vulnerability Proportion: Firms should expect vulnerability assessments to indicate at least 10-29% of their book as vulnerable.
  3. CSA Code of Practice Update: Reflecting new FCA guidelines and consumer support expectations.
  4. Implementation Deadline: Firms are expected to be ready by 31st July, with subsequent checks and phase two of surveys expected.
  5. Consumer Support Survey: Detailed questions about firm practices and outcomes, including specific sections on vulnerability and consumer interactions.
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Presentation Materials

Recording


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