Why Board Members Should Prepare for the Consumer Duty Changes

Written on
byHayfa Bukhari

The FCA’s new Consumer Duty of Care proposals have been causing a bit of controversy since they were first announced in December last year. Although the aim is to help provide a higher standard of service for customers, which is absolutely something we should be aiming for, the short deadline and lack of clarity around the requirements are causing headaches for businesses up and down the country.

 

When it comes to responsibility within an organisation, planning the changes needed to be compliant with the new Consumer Duty could sit with a number of different areas, however, it’s of vital importance that members of the board are heavily involved as the accountability can ultimately land at their door.

 

What are the board’s responsibilities?

From the FCA’s perspective, they expect the board of a company to assess their customer outcomes at least annually to ensure they are compliant with the Consumer Duty rules and that they are consistently creating positive outcomes for their customer base. 

 

While senior management members are already responsible for compliance with the requirements and standards of the regulatory system within the business, the introduction of the Consumer Duty does lead to an increase in these standards. The FCA is very clear in their message that they will hold senior management responsible if a firm fails to achieve its responsibilities with the proposals, so it’s vital that your board understands exactly what is required of them and ensures this is being carried out adequately within the company.

 

It’s really important that every different area of the business understands how the proposed updates will affect their department and have plans in place to undertake the required changes before the deadline in April 2023, so creating a project team to lead on this could be a key step in becoming compliant. 

 

How can you prove you are compliant with Consumer Duty?

One of the challenges that companies are facing at the moment is that the new proposals are somewhat vague when it comes to the exact processes that need to be in place to be considered compliant, however, they do make it clear that one of the key things you need to be able to do is provide evidence of compliance throughout your entire distribution chain, including areas that you may outsource to a third party (such as call centre). This may be a tricky task without the right tools, however, speech analytics software and technology that monitors customer interactions across every channel could be just the solution you need.

 

With a platform like Aveni Detect, you’ll be given all the tools you need to monitor 100% of your customer interactions and keep tighter control over the services provided by entities within your distribution chain. Our software also enables you to embed guidelines that you need to adhere to, for example, the FCA’s guidance on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers has been built into our platform, meaning that calls are automatically monitored and categorised into the FCA’s vulnerability categories.  

 

Rather than seeing the Duty as a challenge to overcome, Boards should look at it as an opportunity to get closer, operationally, to the business, for the company to improve sales conversations and customer understanding, elevate the experiences of their customers, to set themselves apart from the competition in the market, to position themselves as leaders in customer service and outcome and drive loyalty and, ultimately profitability for the business in a more ethical, beneficial way for all. 

 

Customer service solutions such as Aveni’s platform can provide you with the type of automation and insights companies need to achieve this as well as the reporting to help prove your compliance with the new Consumer Duty and minimise the risk for you and your company. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch today or book a demo.

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