FCA speaks on credit card market: Martin Wheatley spoke on the growth of the UK credit card market. He stressed FCA's commitment to ensuring that the market works and its aim to ensure that all providers and brokers have sustainable business models. He said is it important for firms to adjust to FCA's rules but also for regulators to reflect the differentiation of the consumer credit market when supervising and intervening. He spoke also of the importance of managing vulnerable customers and looked at the demographics of UK credit card holders and payment patterns. FCA will undertake a competition review of the market later this year. (Source: FCA Speaks on Credit Card Market)

FCA publishes more results of RDR thematic review: FCA has published more results of the second stage of its thematic review of implementation of the retail distribution review (RDR). The results released focus on firms' compliance with disclosure requirements. The review has found that 73% of firms fail to provide:

  • generic information on the firm's charging structure, and example of the cost in cash terms;
  • confirmation of the cost for an individual client;
  • information on when charges may vary or new charges may be incurred;
  • clarification of when service is provided on a restricted basis or the nature of that restriction; or
  • explanation on the service offered for ongoing fees and reminder of the right to cancel the service at any time.

FCA says that these levels of non-compliance are unacceptable, especially considering that, in an earlier thematic report and fact sheet published after the first stage of the thematic review, FCA had provided examples of good and bad practice. In view of the seriousness of these failings, FCA says it is likely to refer a financial adviser and a wealth manager to its Enforcement and Financial Crime Division. The third stage of the thematic review will start in the third quarter of 2014. (Source: Supervising Retail Investment Firms: Being Clear About Adviser Charges and Services)

FCA commissions independent inquiry into Business Plan leak: The Non-Executive Directors of FCA have commissioned an independent review into the leak of its intention to review long-term life assurance products. The inquiry will analyse FCA's internal guidance, procedures and emergency plans around the release of price-sensitive information. (Source: Terms of Reference)

Up next from FCA: FCA's latest policy development update forecasts that proposals for a price cap on high-cost short-term credit will be consulted on from July. (Source: Policy Development Update No. 12)

FCA publishes complaints data: FCA latest complaints data shows a 15% fall in the number of consumer complaints, mostly driven by decreases in the amount of complaints related to payment protection insurance, credit cards and savings. Most of the GBP 2.6 billion paid in redress in the second half of 2013 corresponded to pure protection products and general insurance. (Source: FCA Data Shows Consumer Complaints Fall by 15%)  

FCA announces initial findings of insurance claims review: FCA has discussed with stakeholders the initial findings of its thematic review on household and travel insurance claims handling. It says it has uncovered no evidence of systematic attempts to deny valid claims, slow claims down or squeeze settlement costs. For that reason, it is not proposing any new requirements or rules. The final report will be published in May. (Source: FCA Engages with Firms on Claims Handling Thematic Review)

FCA offers waiver from projections requirements: FCA is offering a modification by consent of COBS 13 Annex 2, to enable firms required to provide standardised deterministic projections to take account of any contractual obligations owed to the policyholder. (Source: Modification by Consent of COBS 13 Annex 2)