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20% of advisers ‘in the dark’ about FCA Consumer Duty

Some don’t even believe ‘it will add any value to consumer outcomes’

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A fifth (19%) of financial advisers in the UK are not aware of the shift in regulation announced by the Financial Conduct Authority last year, research by Royal London revealed.

While 80% feel they are “well prepared” for when the FCA’s Consumer Duty will come into force in less than a year’s time, the remainder admitted to “being in the dark” about it.

Surprisingly, the mutual insurer found that 27% don’t feel they need to make any changes to their business to comply with the “fundamental shift” in regulation.

In comparison, just over half (53%) believe they will only need to make small changes to follow the new rules.

The Consumer Duty, unveiled in December 2021 and set to come into force by the end of April 2023, will look to tackle harmful business practices and push firms to get “products and services right in the first place”, the regulator said at the time.

The set of rules and guidance are due to be published by the end of July 2021.

Jamie Jenkins, director of policy at Royal London, said: “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.

“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.

“It’s encouraging to see that many advice firms will turn to their network or provider for help, collaborating to deliver good outcomes for their clients.”

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