Here we look at what the upcoming changes will mean for you and your clients, and how we can support your understanding and help strengthen your protection conversations in the current economic climate.
These changes should help to reassure clients that it’s your regulatory duty to monitor and review the products you're recommending to ensure they continue to meet their protection needs, beyond traditional life cover.
As we count down to the launch of the new rules and guidance, we wanted to understand what advisers like you think about the changes and how they plan to adjust their existing business practices.
Our latest research showed almost 1 in 5 advisers (19%) said they hadn't heard of the new Consumer Duty. Read our full report to find out what else advisers are saying about the Duty - along with answers to these key questions.
The new Consumer Duty from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) marks a fundamental shift for the financial services industry. Sitting at the heart of the changes is the new Consumer Principle, which will move the bar from 'treating customers fairly' to striving to deliver good outcomes for clients. The new rules are expected by the end of July 2022 and will become mandatory by April 2023.
The new proposals set out a framework that means adviser firms, of all sizes, will need to measure whether they’re delivering good outcomes for customers across a number of areas. This includes the quality of communications, the appropriateness of the products that have been recommended, the quality of the service offered and whether support is provided to help customers make financial decisions about their future.
Underpinning this central principle are three rules to help firms understand the FCA's new expectations on how they should conduct themselves to achieve good outcomes for their clients. Firms must:
This greater focus on consumer outcomes means you and your firm will be required to actively assess and evidence how your actions and processes are working to deliver good outcomes for your clients.
With these changes, the FCA is acting to ensure all advisers understand their obligation to help to better protect the interests of consumers. And we might find the new rules should help to improve the reputation of the financial services industry in general for consumers, giving them more confidence in seeking and receiving financial advice.
Of course many adviser firms already work with the best outcomes of their clients in mind, particularly when discussing protection. However, the Consumer Duty should ensure your clients understand it's your regulatory duty to deliver good outcomes for the future and to protect against their biggest protection risks. And that it's important to consider their needs beyond basic protection, such as life cover to protect a mortgage, to help them build better financial resilience into their lives.
These tools and materials can help you show the value of a comprehensive menu plan.
Family income benefit - A cost-effective alternative to providing cover for your clients
This sales aid looks in detail at the family income benefit and how this could be a cost-effective alternative to lump-sum protection. Great if clients are on a tight budget.
Download sales aid