On 5 October 2022, the FCA published a new webpage ‘Consumer Duty – information for firms’.
The FCA has created the webpage following the receipt of queries from firms on the new Consumer Duty. The webpage covers three areas which cover queries which are relevant for the wider market:
- October implementation plans. The FCA does not expect firms to have necessarily fully scoped all work required to embed the Consumer Duty by the October deadline, but it does expect firms to have set out how they will do so in time to ensure timely implementation. Firms’ plans should, by the October deadline, be sufficiently developed to provide both firms’ governing bodies and the FCA with assurance that the expectations set out in the Consumer Duty have been carefully considered and will be implemented for new and existing products by 31 July 2023.
- Consumer Duty board champions. Some firms have asked if the board champion role can be fulfilled by the chair itself, rather than an independent non-executive director. In general the FCA envisages the board champion working with the chair, but this will depend on the characteristics of the firm and its board. In some cases, it may work well if the chair of the board is also the board champion for the Consumer Duty. The FCA expects firms to apply judgement and set up the role in a way that is effective for their organisation.
- Definition of closed products. The Consumer Duty comes into effect for closed products and services on 31 July 2024. Where existing customers can continue to make payments under the existing product terms this would still be considered closed, as long as the product or service is not open to new customers. It is up to firms to consider each product and determine whether it is closed.