Being pragmatic about Consumer Duty

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s ‘pragmatic’ approach to Consumer Duty enforcement was a feature of a recent speech delivered by Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi. Speaking at the recent Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference, Rathi looked at the FCA’s regulatory approach to deliver for consumers, markets, and competitiveness.

Rathi’s speech covers key topics of member interest such as Consumer Duty and Motor Finance Claims.

Rathi’s speech includes details on the FCA’s pragmatic approach to enforcement of the Consumer Duty, tackling breaches that pose the greatest risk of harm but looking favourably on firms that have made reasonable efforts to address concerns.

He explains that the FCA is not a price regulator and will not stand in the way of well-run businesses making profits in the face of effective competition.

In dealing with motor finance claims, the FCA has intervened now to establish the facts and is aiming for earlier clarity than previous redress events. The more quickly and comprehensively firms co-operate with requests for data, the sooner the FCA can conclude its work.

See the full speech on the FCA website: Investing in outcomes: a regulatory approach to deliver for consumers, markets and competitiveness

The FCA has also published its Business Plan for 2024-25 which sets out its programme of work for the final year of its current strategy. The planned programme of work builds on our progress made over recent years to become a more outcomes-based, assertive, and data-led regulator.

It will prioritise:

  • Protecting consumers by testing if firms are meeting the high standards set by the Consumer Duty. 
  • Contributing to UK competitiveness and growth by improving the attractiveness and reach of UK wholesale markets, supporting firms to invest, innovate and expand through its innovation services and continuing to make it quicker and easier for firms to apply for authorisation.
  • Becoming a data-led regulator by building on the significant progress already made to become a world-class, data-led regulator by automating more of its analytics tools to help detect and respond to consumer harms faster and working with firms on the safe deployment of artificial intelligence.

Any questions on Consumer Duty or related topics should be emailed to [email protected].

The BVRLA now has a new 5-step training programme to provide additional practical insight and guidance around all aspects of compliance within the new regulatory framework: Consumer Duty Training Programme.