On 14 March 2024, the FCA published a speech by its CEO, Nikhil Rathi, entitled ‘Investing in outcomes: a regulatory approach to deliver for consumers, markets and competitiveness’.

In his speech Mr Rathi touches on some of the big issues investors have on their minds:

  • The Consumer Duty.
  • Fair value and fair play.
  • Redress for consumers.
  • Regulatory cooperation and the FCA’s role as a prudential regulator.
  • Supporting investment and innovation.

In relation to the Consumer Duty, Mr Rathi notes that many firms have approached it in the right spirit, putting themselves in customers’ shoes. They have: 

  • Used simpler and more accessible language.
  • Been more upfront about product exclusions. 
  • Reviewed fair value, with some fees being removed or restructured.
  • Ended sludge practices which inhibited customer switching.
  • Committed to notify savers at least annually about better interest rates. 
  • Made significant technology investment in customer insights and service.

Furthermore, for the Consumer Duty, Mr Rathi mentions:

“We’re not setting out to trip firms up by going after technical breaches. We look favourably on firms taking reasonable steps to identify and proactively address concerns, even if mistakes are made. 

We want to be pragmatic, so have focused on the greatest harms – cash savings markets, both in the largest banks and on platforms, insurance products such as premium finance and GAP insurance. We have telegraphed these publicly over the last 2 years, so there should be no surprises.”