21.10.2020

Vulnerable consumers, in focus once again as FCA continues its consultation with firms

Vulnerable consumers, in focus once again as FCA continues its consultation with firms

For some time now the FCA has been considering new guidance for firms to do more to protect vulnerable consumers. The first phase of consultation took place in July 2019 and this ended on September 30th 2020. It is expected that finalised guidance from the FCA will be published either late 2020 or early 2021.

Research

As part of the process to determine new guidance, the FCA undertook in-depth research into 21 case studies of consumers with a range of vulnerability and sought to pinpoint exactly how consumers are being failed by some firms.

This research also included engagement with the financial services sector, looking at how well firms currently support vulnerability. Evidence showed that many firms are doing this well, however there was also evidence that showed some firms still need to raise the importance of supporting vulnerable consumers especially where vulnerability was being exploited for gain.

Outcomes

With this in mind, the FCA has pin-pointed 4 key themes for firms to address.

The FCA also intends to provide a framework that allows all firms to accurately assess whether they are treating all customers fairly and ensuring consistency across the sector.

Consistency and support remain ever essential as most , if not all firms will see increased demand for support services due to the impact of COVID-19, so new guidance from the FCA comes at a critical time that could not have been predicted.

Here at Access we will monitor any further announcement. Where necessary we will amend our learning content so that we can continue to support our customers with their efforts to provide best practice support to vulnerable consumers. If you are not an Access customer and are interested in finding out about our Governance Risk and Compliance solutions contact us here.

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