On 19 December 2018, the FCA published Finalised Guidance 18/7: Fairness of variation terms in financial services consumer contracts under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (FG18/7).

In FG18/7, the FCA outlines a number of non-exhaustive areas that it believes firms should have regard to when drafting and reviewing variation terms in financial services consumer contracts. These include and are not limited to the following:

  • the validity of the reason(s) for using the variation term;
  • the transparency of the variation term;
  • provision for notice in the variation term; and
  • provision for the freedom to exit the contract should a consumer not wish to accept the variation.
  • The FCA expects firms to consider FG18/7 when they review their existing contracts and when they draft new ones. Firms should ensure that variation terms in their contracts are transparent and not unfair.