CP21/36: A New Consumer Duty

The BSA responds to the FCA's CP on A New Consumer Duty

In our response we acknowledge the positives about the proposals in CP21/36:

  1. There has been a withdrawal (for now) of proposals for a Private Right of Action.
  2. The new principle is focussed on requiring firms to deliver good outcomes for retail customers.
  3. There  is  an  acknowledgement  of  the  need  for  proportionality.
  4. Confirmation has been provided that the Consumer Duty will not apply in retrospect.
  5. There is an acceptance that fair value is about more than just price.

However, we still have some concerns:

  1. The lack of a meaningful Cost Benefit Analysis and therefore a clear demonstration that these proposals will serve to allow the FCA to achieve better outcomes for consumers than it would be able to achieve under exisiting legislation and regulation, were it to more effectively supervise and enforce under them.
  2. The extremely short implmentation period.
  3. The real risk that adopting and maintaining the requirements will place disproportionate strain on smaller firms in particular both operationally and financially.
  4. The risk of misinterpretation, misapplication and potential retrospective application by the FOS in relation to complaints against firms.