On 28 June 2023, the FCA published a report outlining quantitative research on firms’ preparedness for the Consumer Duty.

This report is the first of three waves of quantitative tracking research on firms in some of the sectors covered by the Consumer Duty and looks at their preparedness and support needs for the 31 July 2023 implementation deadline. The FCA wishes to understand what progress firms have made in preparing for the Consumer Duty and what support they need to complete their preparations.

Key findings from the report include:

  • There were very high levels of engagement and understanding of the Consumer Duty, including in many of the sectors where historically regulatory change has had lower levels of engagement.
  • Most firms believed they were on course to implement the Consumer Duty by the 31 July deadline. 64% of firms surveyed said they would be fully compliant by the deadline and a further 23% said they would comply with most requirements by the deadline but would still have some work to do. 7% of firms’ surveyed said they would still have significant work to do after the deadline or had not started work on the Consumer Duty. All firms need to make the most of the time before the 31 July deadline.
  • Two groups of firms, retail finance providers and debt advice firms, scored consistently lower than others on engagement, understanding and implementation progress. The FCA are issuing further direct communications to these firms and working with industry bodies to amplify messages.
  • Firms had made use of the support provided by the FCA and found it helpful. The two areas that firms said they would like more information on were outcomes monitoring and the price and value outcome. Since firms were surveyed the FCA had published a review of firms’ fair value assessment frameworks which included good and poor practice to help firms implement this aspect of the Consumer Duty, and a podcast explaining how firms need to monitor outcomes for consumers after the implementation deadline.

The FCA will use the feedback from firms to further target and develop their communications.