(London, UK) The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) New Consumer Duty went into full effect on the 31st of July 2023. Auriemma Industry Roundtable members have been eager to collaborate with one another on how the regulation could affect each operational area and on what changes they are prioritising. At each meeting this year, roundtable members shared department-specific plans for tackling Consumer Duty as well as greater, overall objectives.
Collections and Recoveries Roundtable members are aligned in their focus on ensuring their forbearance toolkits are fit for purpose – with 23% of members introducing new forbearance options for struggling customers. Additionally, 54% of members indicated an intent to make changes to their supplier-oversight strategies—another focus area of the regulation.
“Our Customer Service members are hyper focused on communication structure and readability,” says Louis Stevens, Auriemma Industry Roundtables Director, “They are reviewing their entire communications catalogue and leveraging external partners to ensure verbiage meets the average UK reading and numerology levels.” To further ensure comprehension, many are also utilising customer research groups.
Complaints and Disputes departments alike are improving the customer experience around submitting a complaint/claim. They have increased the number of touchpoints to keep customers updated on the progress of their claim, with 15% of roundtable members intending to introduce text message updates as part of their journeys. As with Customer Service teams, 46% also intends to change their communication content, especially with complaints.
Fraud Control Roundtable members are pivoting to track more outcomes-based metrics and building new reporting structures around them. Many members have also recognised the need for Fraud Departments to become more involved in the vulnerable customer journey given that vulnerable customers are often targeted victims of fraud.
When looking at Operations as a whole, roundtable members have common themes within their plans. At the recent Auriemma Consumer Duty Workshop, 92% of members indicated they intend to run new training plans under Consumer Duty with the goal of building awareness amongst the department and delivering pinpointed training on how the regulation will affect individual roles. Outcome testing is a primary focus for many with 70% of firms already having had outcome testing frameworks in place, and the remaining 30% having planned to implement it in the months leading up to the deadline.
“Although it is crucial that the industry makes specific changes to comply with the New Consumer Duty, we must not forget that the intention of this regulation is to trigger a cultural change not just act as a tick-box exercise,” says Stevens. “This is not just a cultural change at the company level either, but rather across the industry as a whole. Collaboration amongst firms is crucial not only to comply with the regulation but to ensure the best possible outcomes for customers.”
To assist in this change, Auriemma is excited to announce its newly launched Regulatory Compliance Roundtable, with the pilot meeting specifically covering Consumer Duty. The agenda will be participant-led but will likely cover early learnings post the go-live date, planned future changes, internal governance structures, third-party oversight models, MI & reporting usage and more.
“We’re really excited for this new group and the enthusiasm we’re already seeing behind it,” says Stevens. “We hope that the group can become an extension of firms’ Consumer Duty teams and help shape the future of how this regulation is successfully implemented within the industry.”
The meeting is scheduled for the 18th of October at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. If you or any of your colleagues are interested in attending as our guests, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Auriemma Group
For more than 35 years, Auriemma’s mission has been to empower clients with authoritative data and actionable insights. Our team comprises recognised experts in four primary areas: operational effectiveness, consumer research, co-brand partnerships and corporate finance. Our business intelligence and advisory services give clients access to the data, expertise and tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex environment and maximise their performance. Auriemma serves the consumer financial services ecosystem from our offices in London and New York City. For more information, visit us at www.auriemma.group or contact Louis Stevens at email@example.com.