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Corterum newsletter: April 2024

Welcome to April’s Corterum Newsletter! This month, we’re diving into the latest updates from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding their plans for the upcoming financial year, as well as insights into the future of the Consumer Duty. Sit back, relax, and stay informed about all things compliance.

FCA Sets out their plan for the year ahead.

The FCA has outlined its strategic plan for the year ahead, building upon their three-year initiative introduced in 2022 to enhance trust and confidence in the financial sector. With a focus on reducing harm, elevating standards, and fostering competition, their efforts aim to drive long-term economic growth in the UK. As we embark on the final year of their plan, the FCA has reaffirmed their commitment to achieving these objectives.

Key areas of emphasis include ensuring firms adhere to the standards outlined in the Consumer Duty, enhancing the attractiveness and accessibility of UK markets through innovation services, and implementing automation in analytics tools. By directing interventions where risks are most pronounced and addressing any gaps, the FCA is poised to delve deeper into evaluating the effectiveness of the Consumer Duty deployment.

For those wanting to read more, they can do so through the following Link.

Review of the way firms treat vulnerable Customers.

The FCA plans to conduct a comprehensive review to assess how firms are catering to the needs of vulnerable customers. This initiative will encompass an analysis of firms’ understanding of consumer needs, product/service design, staff capabilities in handling vulnerable customers, and communication strategies.

The review itself will be run by conducting consumer research, as well as gathering information from firms and consumer representatives, to complete this assessment. Once all data has been collated, they aim to share these findings by the end of 2024. We’ll keep you updated as more comes through on this.

Investing in the outcomes of the Consumer Duty.

In March, Nikhil Rathi delivered a speech outlining the FCA’s intention to prioritize outcomes. Their strategy involves fostering deeper, more transparent relationships with investors, analysts, and the broader market community to better manage desired results. Rathi emphasized the enforcement of the Consumer Duty, highlighting the focus on addressing breaches with the highest potential for harm.

Additionally, he expressed a favourable view towards firms actively addressing concerns. The FCA aims to transition towards outcomes-focused regulation, moving away from rigid rules. This shift anticipates fewer detailed or reactive regulations, potentially leading to reduced discussions on past issues and a decrease in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy, which has already shown signs of stabilisation.

For those wanting to read more, they can do so through the following Link.

Trouble with understanding the needs of the SMCR and Consumer Duty?  

Try these resources:

SMCR Implementation Guide

Consumer Duty 2-Pager

Ultimate Guide to Fit and Proper Testing

That concludes April’s Newsletter! Should you have any inquiries or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to support you in navigating the complexities of compliance.