By Liam Edwards

The FCA has published a speech on key priorities for the financial services industry, given by Therese Chambers (Director of Consumer Investments) at the Festival of Financial Planning, Birmingham on 1 November 2022. The speech is available in full here.

Key points of the speech include the following:

  • The FCA wants to see more consumers investing their money safely, provided they can afford to do so.
  • The Consumer Duty and the Consumer Investment Strategy represent significant changes that should facilitate the provision of good financial advice and drive successful consumer outcomes.
  • Financial advisers do and will continue to play a crucial role in the delivery of the FCA’s ambitions in regards to consumer investment. Implementation of the Consumer Duty will be central to the success of the FCA’s consumer strategy.
  • The Consumer Duty represents a shift in focus and emphasis for the FCA, as well as for firms. The FCA has already begun to reframe its internal thinking and discussions through the lens of consumer outcomes.
  • The FCA expects to undertake a holistic review of the advice-guidance boundary in anticipation of the FCA being given greater rule making powers under future regulatory framework legislation.

As the FCA depart from the existing MiFID-derived regime, the FCA plans to become less reactive and more proactive in its approach to consumer protection. Therese Chambers noted that the Consumer Duty represents a ‘gamechanger’ for the FCA and expects it to result in a higher standard of consumer protection. The FCA are driving to ensure that, for the FCA itself as well as for firms, good consumer outcomes become the focus, rather than technical rule compliance, and anticipate that the Consumer Duty will be the catalyst for this cultural change.