Majority of advisers ‘well prepared’ for new customer care standards

Four out of five (80%) financial advisers feel they are “well prepared” for the introduction of new customer care standards, as part of the FCA’s Consumer Duty Guidance.

Research carried out by mutual insurer, Royal London, revealed that of those who are prepared, over half (53%) also believe they will only need to make small changes to their business to comply.

The new rules and guidance are due to be published by 31 July 2022, with all firms needing to be fully compliant by April 2023. The FCA has previously stated the legislation will deliver a “fundamental shift” in the approach to regulation by raising the bar on delivering good outcomes for customers.

However, Royal London’s research found that a quarter of advisers (27%) aren’t considering making any changes. At the other end of the scale, a small group of advisers (2%) anticipate making significant levels of change.

Royal London’s study, based on responses from 200 UK financial advisers, also found that one in five advisers (19%) have not even heard of the new Consumer Duty and therefore won’t have considered the level of change they may or may not need to make.

Furthermore, the findings indicated that seven in 10 (70%) advisers making the regulatory changes to adapt are “confident” they will meet the deadline. Just 8% of advisers are harbouring any concerns about the timings, the study suggested.

“Advisers are undoubtedly well placed to understand customer outcomes, and it’s reassuring to see that most advisers expect their business to comply with the Duty on time,” commented Royal London director of policy, Jamie Jenkins.

“What is of concern is the number of advisers who are either unaware of the new rules coming into force, have yet to read the consultation paper or don’t believe it will add any value to consumer outcomes.”

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