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Reflections on Chris Woolards speech at the TISA conference member summary

Chris Woolard of the FCAIn his speech at the Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) conference on November 13, 2013, Chris Woolard, Director of Policy, Risk & Research at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) linked the Simple Products initiative to a wider agenda around protecting consumers and giving them a better experience of financial services.

The key messages included:

  • The changing public expectations of financial services: big data, transparency, technology, competition and social media are all converging to change how people expect financial services to treat their consumers.
  • The growing focus of the FCA on consumer experience.
  • The FCA's new competition mandate: looking into how competition can better serve customers interests, grounded in an understanding of how consumers really behave.
  • The FCA's focus on consumer vulnerability, both short term vulnerability due to circumstances, and long term vulnerability. The circumstances identified as creating vulnerability are interesting, as for protection providers most customers encountered during the claims process would be described by the FCA as vulnerable – in the short or long term (critically or terminally ill, widowed, disabled, unable to work). Treating customers fairly during a claim must therefore be considered of paramount importance.
  • References to the Simple Products project, and ability for consumers to understand and compare products easily, but with emphasis on a need for cultural shift in the financial services industry. Terms and conditions which are designed to protect firms rather than consumers are flagged as a prime example of detrimental behaviour by companies.

Last updated 01/07/2016