FCA announces a review of firms’ treatment of customers in vulnerable circumstances

The FCA has announced its intention to conduct a review into how firms are acting to understand and respond to the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances.  The FCA intends to share its findings by the end of 2024, in line with its 2021 commitment.  The review will look at the outcomes consumers in vulnerable circumstances receive and whether they’re as good as the outcomes of other consumers.

The review will also look at:

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

The FCA intends to conduct consumer research as well as gather information from firms and consumer representatives to make this assessment.  Rather than conduct a separate piece of work focussed solely on age related issues, as indicated in 2017, the review will look more broadly at how firms treat customers, including older customers, in vulnerable circumstances.  This will enable the FCA to understand whether those consumers most susceptible to harm are receiving good outcomes.

For more information on what the FCA expects from firms, read its Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.

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