Consultant Zone

A challenging year

As we rapidly approach the end of what has been a challenging year for everyone involved in the financial services market, we continue to support our clients as they manage their way through the increased background of regulatory pressures. Consumer Duty being the ‘biggie’ to affect everyone during 2023 and with further implications in 2024 and beyond.

We will continue to communicate with our clients in formal and informal environments, with several businesses now wanting to hear our views about the markets in which we operate. We have been doing that in the format that we call ‘fireside chats’. These are beneficial for all concerned as firstly we listen to clients’ views and their own development plans and secondly contribute by giving our own independent assessment of where we see markets moving.

Clearly as a business, we focus on issues around governance, risk and compliance, but it’s important to note that our experiences are not limited to regulated markets. We continue to strive for increased standards across all markets, whether supervised by regulators or not.

Other sectors where we have supported businesses this year include a range of unsecured product classes; consumer credit, SME, asset finance, motor finance, and insurance premium finance to name a few.

Those businesses that know us well appreciate our forthright views on what is going on around us; as an example, they hear that we have strong views on the buy now pay later market, even though that sector isn’t regulated yet. Readers will be acutely aware of the decimation of the payday loan world once the FCA introduced stricter rules in 2015 to help regulate the market, making borrowing fairer for borrowers. Regulation will happen despite needing secondary legislation, and the sooner such organisations embrace change the more likely they will survive. We can help them, having experienced issues like this before, for example when consumer credit moved from the Office of Fair Trading and claims management companies moved from the Ministry of Justice.

When Rockstead launched, over a decade and a half ago, we were best known for our dominance in the mortgage due diligence sector and capital markets oversight. Today, our passion for raising standards throughout the wider financial services world now means we are the firm of choice in governance, risk and compliance as well as in traditional due diligence projects.

Looking forward to an interesting 2024? Get in touch to learn how we can help you.