FCA to review how firms treat customers in vulnerable circumstances

March 19, 2024

The FCA has announced that it will conduct a review into the action firms are taking to understand and respond to the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances. It will share its findings by the end of 2024.

During the review, the regulator will assess:

  • firms’ understanding of consumer needs, 
  • skills and capability of staff, 
  • product and service design,  
  • communications and customer service, 
  • and whether the elements above support the fair treatment of customers in vulnerable circumstances.  

The FCA also notes that it will examine whether the outcomes of consumers in vulnerable circumstances are as good as outcomes received by other consumers and will assess this by undertaking consumer research and gathering information from firms and consumer representatives.

Whilst in 2017 regulator suggested it would focus solely on age related issues, it has clarified that this review will look broadly at how firms treat customers, including older customers, in vulnerable circumstances to evaluate whether consumers most at risk of harm are receiving good outcomes.

The FCA has provided Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers and implementation of Consumer Duty.

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