Consumer Duty is a new set of rules released by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to improve outcomes for retail customers of financial products and services. This blog walks you through why end user training on the regulation is essential - and how you can carry it out in the most effective manner in your business.
What is Consumer Duty?
Consumer Duty is the new guidance released by the FCA aimed at enhancing protections for customers in the financial services sector. In essence, Consumer Duty sets higher expectations for the standard of care that firms should provide, ensuring that consumer interests are integral to their products and services. The ultimate goal is to foster a more transparent, fair, and customer-focused financial market.
The four key aspects of consumer duty are:
- Helpful and accessible customer support to ensure customers can make the changes they require or receive answers to any questions they may have
- Timely and clear information about the products or services the customer has purchased
- Provision of products and services that are right for the customer, rather than promoting products and services that provide a high return for the business
- Identification and protection of vulnerable customers that may not be able to make the best financial decisions that reflect their own best interests
Who does Consumer Duty apply to?
Consumer Duty applies to all companies in the Financial Services industry in the UK, including all businesses that provide or consult on mortgage, banking or other financial products.
The implications of Consumer Duty for financial services are far-reaching. It not only mandates stricter compliance requirements but also necessitates a shift in company culture and operations. Companies must now ensure that their services are consistently delivered with the customer's best interest in mind, which can involve significant changes in internal processes and policies.
Why employee training on Consumer Duty is essential
In the financial services industry, trust and compliance are paramount. Consumer Duty marks a significant shift on the expectations that businesses are expected to operate by, and it is essential that the changes required are brought in at every operating level.
Training all employees on the essentials of Consumer Duty helps your business communicate the importance of the new regulation to the entire workforce, and start building the transformation required for your company to meet the final compliance deadline of July 31, 2024.
Understanding and implementing Consumer Duty isn't just a job for the compliance team; it requires company-wide awareness and adherence. Training users on the essentials of Consumer Duty ensures that everyone in the organisation is aligned with the new standards and understands their role in maintaining compliance.
Where to find Consumer Duty training content
Organisations in the financial services industry will need to create a plan to address the changes brought about by Consumer Duty and design an implementation timeline for their own business. While each company will have to communicate the changes required to their own workforce based on the specific operating methods and procedures of the company, it's essential that all employees also receive training on exactly why these changes are being made, and how Consumer Duty is transforming the industry as a whole.
Many organisation will choose to seek out external training providers to produce this training. This is especially likely to be the case for small-to-medium sized businesses without their own dedicated training departments. External training providers could include experts brought in to give a company-wide presentation, training days where employees go through workshops, or cloud-based compliance training programmes where employees can go through learning content at their own pace.
While many IT and learning managers may be tempted to find consumer duty training slides online, it is important to verify that these come from legitimate training providers, as well as to plan how this content can be enrolled to users while keeping track of attendance and completion rates.
What to include in your Consumer Duty training course
Implementing an effective training program on Consumer Duty requires more than just providing information; it involves engaging users and integrating the principles into daily operations. It's essential that any course starts with a clear explanation of what Consumer Duty is, why it has been pushed out by the FCA, and how the rules are expected to lead to an industry-wide transformation.
Following a high-level overview of the regulation, how it is affecting the industry as a whole, and what are the challenges that it was brought in to address, the training course should move on to addressing how the new guidance will affect the specific business and its operations. It is important to put the new guidance into the context of your business, and provide employees with a role-by-role walkthrough of the changes that are to be implemented, as well as clear expectations of how these changes will affect the day-to-day working lives of your employees.
Get started with this 15-minute introductory course to Consumer Duty
It's important to ensure that all employees of your company have a core understanding of what Consumer Duty is, why it was introduced by the FCA, and how it is expected to transform the financial services industry.
Our new training course "Introduction to Consumer Duty" provides a key high-level overview of the new regulation that is applicable to any employee in the financial services industry. Enrol this course out to your users today by making use of our free 14-day trial.