By Victoria McCarron and Alex Gillespie

On 22 February, the FCA published a speech delivered by Sheldon Mills, the Executive Director on Consumers and Competition outlining the final steps towards the implementation of the Consumer Duty.

In the speech, Mr Mills encouraged asset managers to ‘eat the frog’ and prepare for the implementation of the new Consumer Duty requirements.

Highlights from the speech were as follows:

  • Firms will innovate through the Consumer Duty, which puts customers at the heart of any planning for financial services and products.
  • The FCA is thankful to the many firms that are continuing to make substantial efforts to embed the policy across their organisations.
  • Focusing on the areas that will have the greatest impact on consumer outcomes should be every firm’s priority ahead of 31 July.

In his speech, Mr Mills referred to Live & Local events that the FCA will be running for small & medium sized firms in the retail investment and mortgage sectors. Mr Mills also said that the FCA will be surveying 600 smaller firms next to check how prepared they feel with their implementation plans.

After the July deadline, the FCA would, Mr Mills said, take a pragmatic and proportionate approach and would always seek to tackle the biggest risk to consumer harm first.

For further information, a copy of the speech can be found here. For further UK financial services regulatory updates, please visit the Burges Salmon blog.