The FCA has published a speech on what firms and customers can expect from the Consumer Duty and other forthcoming regulatory reforms, given by Sheldon Mills (Executive Director, Consumers and Competition) at the Consumer Protection in Financial Services Summit on 29 September 2022. The speech is available in full here.

Key aspects of the speech include:

  • discussion of the Consumer Duty as an opportunity to establish a fairer basis for competition, and adopt a flexible, outcomes-focused approach to regulation;
  • the economic growth and innovation that will follow effective implementation of the Consumer Duty;
  • that firms should begin to improve practices to support consumers given the challenging economic circumstances, rather than wait for the Consumer Duty to come into force; and
  • the FCA’s intention to co-operate with industry leaders and senior management of firms in the implementation of the Duty, during and after the implementation period.

Mr Mills noted that the FCA has recruited 95 employees to its Authorisations team in anticipation of the implementation of the Duty, and that this, coupled with the introduction of new automation tools, has seen pending caseload fall by 40%. Mr Mills also outlined that whilst the FCA's core supervisory activities will continue, its approach to supervision will evolve, with the data it collects becoming more focused on consumer outcomes across the whole product life cycle.