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Vulnerability remains a ‘welcome’ high priority for FCA

​Money Advice Trust welcomes FCA ‘Approach to Consumers’ consultation

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its ‘FCA Mission – Our Future Approach to Consumers’. The document outlines the regulator’s proposed new definition of vulnerability and its approach to consumer responsibility, financial inclusion and the suggestion of a ‘duty of care’ for firms.

A consultation on the paper has been launched to help the regulator ensure that the proposed approach meets the needs of consumers. The consultation runs until 5 February 2018 with the final approach to consumers to be published later in 2018.
 
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:
 
“It is positive to see that the issue of vulnerability remains a high priority for the FCA.  In particular, we look forward to working with the regulator as it consults on its new definition of vulnerability, which we must make absolutely sure covers the full range of circumstances that can affect people. 
 
“The definition must also place the right level of emphasis on the responsibility of firms to deliver the right interventions in identifying and supporting these customers.  Despite significant progress from the industry in response to the Financial Services Vulnerability Taskforce, there remains more work to do.
 
“On financial inclusion more generally, while we recognise that there are limits to what the FCA can do, we would like to see the regulator pro-actively share concerns, evidence and options with government, through a new formal mechanism, into order to inform wider public policy.  We hope the government’s forthcoming response to the House of Lords Financial Exclusion Committee will address some these key challenges. 
 
“Finally, we would welcome greater clarity on how the regulator will police its so-called regulatory perimeter, in areas such as lead generation, where we believe there is significant consumer detriment being caused.”
 
The Money Advice Trust provides training and consultancy for financial services firms, and creditors in other sectors, on identifying and supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances.  The charity has now trained more than 11,000 staff in over 160 organisations.
 
© Money Advice Trust Charity Number 1099506
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