Consultant Zone

Regulatory changes – putting the consumer first

Whether holding asset or actively lending, it is vital that businesses are putting the consumer at the heart of their business models and strategies. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suggests that this fundamental principle may involve “making cultural changes that promote good conduct outcomes throughout the business”. Firms must establish appropriate oversight and governance around the design and innovation of products and services.

It is more important than ever that management information accurately reflects how businesses are handling direct relationships with customers, and feeding that experience back into the product design process is now critical. We spend a lot of time helping companies analyse how effective their collection and complaints procedures are and interpreting the results. We make sure that the correct levels of forbearance management have being applied in line with policy. We can undertake independent consumer research to ensure product features are fully understood and we can monitor customer satisfaction levels. We employ highly experienced and specialist staff who are used to identifying potentially detrimental trends and report accordingly.

The regulatory regime has set out its intentions to be more proactive in this area and will intervene quickly if they feel customers best interests are not being looked after. As a result, there would appear to be an urgent need to address these issues, and we believe that this is a chance to prove to the regulator that your business takes conduct risk seriously. With our help we can make it a much safer journey.