Our article dated 22 August 2019 provided information regarding the FCA’s recent activity regarding the fair treatment of vulnerable customers (GC19/3).
A reminder …
The FCA’s intention in proposing the guidance is to make clear what, in their view, firms should do to ensure that vulnerable customers are treated fairly and consistently across all financial services sectors. They want to see firms doing the right thing for vulnerable consumers and embedding this in their culture.
The two-stage approach to this consultation commenced with GC19/3, the consultation requested feedback on three specific areas by 4 October 2019. This consultation stage has now closed and, before the FCA consult again on the Guidance, they are sending out an ‘Information request/Survey background’ to firms in connection with the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) which they plan to publish alongside the second consultation. The request is not being sent to all firms, only to what appears to be a random selection.
The information request being sent to firms asks a series of questions to help them assess the potential impacts of the proposed Guidance on firms in terms of incremental costs, as well as incremental benefits to consumers. The FCA will use the information in future policy development, to help ensure that any guidance is proportionate yet provides adequate consumer protection.
The areas of business the FCA want to capture are those involved in the supply of products or services to retail customers, including areas that may not have a direct relationship with retail customers – for example, product providers.
The FCA hopes the responses will help them to gain a better understanding of the potential impact of the proposed guidance.
What information is being requested
The information request/survey background is in 4 sections:
Section 1: Preliminary questions
Section 2: General Approach to Vulnerability
Section 3: What does your approach to vulnerability include?
Section 4: Costs
Section 3 requires a knowledge of what was proposed by GC19/3, and firms might find it helpful to refer to our previous article from August 2019 where we overviewed the consultation.
Specific questions include:
- What firms have already done in relation to vulnerability, and existing plans (other than standard review processes) that firms have already decided to carry out, prior to knowing the specifics of the guidance.
- Additional plans that may arise as a result of the proposed guidance.