The FCA has published the discussion paper, Smarter Consumer Communications, which challenges firms to consider innovative ways of engaging and communicating with consumers about products and services. The FCA’s thematic work and market studies have previously revealed the type of information consumers receive, when they receive it, and the way it is delivered can drive both poor and positive consumer outcomes. The FCA believes that clear and engaging information will empower consumers to make informed decisions about products and services and will help to promote competition and deliver products and services that consumers want.

The FCA gave the following examples of smarter communications:

Communications using plain language, short format, bullet points and clear graphics

  • Use of interactive apps to help consumers understand and manage their products
  • The use of infographics to explain complex information and concepts to consumers in an engaging way
  • Use of video to help consumers engage with the essential terms and conditions of a product.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said We expect all firms to embed an organisation-wide culture where the importance of communicating effectively with consumers is recognised and prioritised. The information needs of potential customers need to be fully considered when developing a product or service and throughout the lifecycle of that product or service.”

The FCA is seeking feedback on the discussion paper by 25 September 2015. To read the discussion paper click here.