The New Consumer Duty (PS22/9)
Key implementation timelines, FCA expectation and enformcenet...
Following the publication of Policy Statement (PS22/9) (aka final rules), the dates for implementation have been established, and the FCA's expectations for the Consumer Duty are crystal clear.
For firms who are already subject to enhanced product manufacturing requirements (such as insurers, insurance intermediaries, MGAs, etc), some aspects of the new Duty is already a known concept.
Irrespective however, all firms should pay particular attention to the requirements and ensure that their arrangements (including the state of their project implementation plan) is roboust enough to survive an FCA scrutiny.
It is known that the FCA became frustrated with the GI sector's failure to implement the enhanced product manufacturing rules, something they will avoid with respect to the duty implementation phase...
The New Consumer Duty.
We will make the Consumer Duty an integral part of our regulatory approach and mindset - including authorisation, supervision and enforcement priorities and processes.
Consumer protection in the retail financial services business will be boosted by the Consumer Duty. The FCA indicated a "paradigm shift in its expectations," which cannot be underestimated. The FCA requires firms to "raise standard" and a "mind-set shift", a significant ramifications for the retail industry. The FCA recognises that while some businesses may already be reaching some of these standards, others will need to make considerable advancements in order to do so.
The Current Expectations
The Duty means that firms must go far beyond a company's regulations and processes, getting to the very core of its culture, strategy, and business.
By putting an expectation that a firm's strategy be integrated across the whole customer journey and across each of its key activities, the FCA is attempting to drive culture and conduct improvements in organisations.
31 October 2022
Compliance with Duty Implementation Project Plan
By 31 October 2022, project plan for implementing Consumer Duty that have been approved by the Board of Directors which must be able to demonstrate the proper scrutiny and challenge faced by the Firm to implement it.
Please note, the FCA recognise that the Project Plans are living documents. They do not have to outline every step, but is expected to be detailed enough to inform the FCA about
Firms having appropriate understanding to explore the challenges and complexities
Firms to evidence appropriate resources to ensure implementation
Firms to have understood the right level of time-line, catering for any unforeseen events
Firms should be prepared for information request from the FCA regarding their project plans and any supporting evidence.
30 April 2023
Completed product review (all actively marketed retail products)
Firms must have completed all product review which is currently being sold to retail market. By the end of April 2023, businesses must have thoroughly examined all of their current retail products and communicated their findings to distributors.
In actuality, this means that businesses have just nine months out of a year to finish the job completely. Assuming businesses require all of this, distributors are only given three months to respond, decide on their distribution strategy, and put those decisions into action.