Shoosmiths LLP
  February 17, 2023 - Milton Keynes, England

The final countdown to the new Consumer Duty
  by Shoosmiths LLP

It's the final countdown to the new Consumer Duty. After what feels like a lifetime of consultations, responses and commentary on the FCAs new Consumer Duty, the final countdown is upon us. With just over 5 months to go before the Consumer Duty comes into force, the big question is... Are you ready?

After reviewing a sample of implementation plans, the FCA praised a number of firms for their hard work in embedding the Duty, however, they raised concern that some firms have been operating under the assumption that the new Duty is a “re-expression of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)” and some firms are “over-confident that their existing policies and processes will be adequate”. This is not the case, change is required. Are you ready?

Firms need to make fundamental cultural changes, led from the top, to ensure the best client outcomes. The onus is on firms to document their processes that deal with the mitigation of foreseeable client problems. Evidence is the key; capturing good practice, logging the evidence that you are putting you client’s best interests first, evidence at all levels and in all processes.

The FCA have indicated areas firms need to focus on over the coming months to ensure they apply the Duty by the 31st July 2023 deadline.

These can be achieved by:

Firms should ensure they keep up to date with the FCA as support is being provided in the form of sector specific letters (covering key expectations and risks), and a series of regional in-person events for specific groups of small and medium-sized firms.

You need to act now to ensure you are ready by the 31st July 2023.

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