THE FCA IS CONSULTING ON A PROPOSED NEW 'CONSUMER DUTY' WHICH, IF ADOPTED, IS LIKELY TO HAVE WIDE RANGING AND POTENTIALLY ONEROUS IMPLICATIONS FOR EVERY FIRM OPERATING IN RETAIL FINANCIAL SERVICES MARKETS.
The proposed Consumer Duty is designed to enhance existing conduct standards in retail markets, drive culture change and instil consumer trust. The FCA wants firms to put consumers at the heart of their business by proactively avoiding consumer harm at every level of their business and through every stage of the customer journey. It will place the onus on firms to abide by a new Principle for Business and to aim to deliver specific outcomes when designing, advising on or distributing products and services to retail clients. Importantly, all firms will be subject to rules specifically requiring them to take all reasonable steps to avoid causing foreseeable harm to consumers.