Consumer Duty Impacts: the need-to-know and the non-negotiable

Read our latest blog by GreenKite CEO Sara Ager to discover the 9 need to know items in what’s different, and the 4 non-negotiable items that should be on your action list NOW.

The long-awaited new Consumer Duty rules were published this week (27 July 2022). The final Policy Statement, which is supported by detailed Finalised Guidance cements what has been described as a ‘seismic shift’ in UK consumer protection regulation.

Consumer Duty requires firms to:

  • ask themselves what outcomes consumers should be able to expect from their products and services
  • act to enable rather than hinder these outcomes
  • assess the effectiveness of their actions


The FCA want firms to put themselves in the customers’ shoes. This concept is not new and something which many of us working within the sector have been advocating for sometime – would the outcome be the same if the customer was in the room . It’s hard to deny that as a principle the initiative will be a powerful tool in setting a purposeful customer-centric culture, although as with all these things it must be driven from the top, and be embraced and enforced all the way through the organisation. This is the challenge for us all .

The FCA want firms to ensure that products and services are fit for purpose and this means they offer fair value, and they require communications and customer service provide customers sufficient information for them to make informed decisions. It does not sound too complicated does it ? Nonetheless for many it remains a tough deliverable if done properly.

Firms will have done product/conduct reviews before, and it would be easy to think that this would be sufficient to meet the requirements. That would be a mistake.

Outcomes-based thinking for most firms will require an entirely new way of looking at the firms interactions with customers and the way MI is analysed. For the first time firms will be required to analyse all steps in the product cycle from design to execution – every step of the journey requires review and scrutiny- it’s a complete mindset shift for many of us.

The FCA are expecting to see tangible changes in approach and purposeful action. ‘Green-washing’ your product assessments, with MI WILL make you an outlier.

The Change List: The need-to-know 9 items

  1. Implementations Plans: A new deadline has been introduced that requires Boards to approve their Consumer Duty implementation plans by October 2022. Boards must have scrutinised and challenged these plans by the deadline: it’s critical that there is documented, robust challenge around these plans as the FCA are likely to request evidence.
  2. Manufacturer Reviews: The FCA have now specified that product manufacturers should aim to complete all reviews necessary to meet the four outcome rules by April 2023. This is specific to ‘open’ products, closed products have an additional transitional period to July 2024. These reviews will need to go further than just the fair value assessments required under the General Insurance Pricing Practice (GIPP) requirements. Consumer outcomes testing and extensive data collection/analysis will be critical to meeting the requirements
  3. The implementation period has been extended from April 2023 to July 2023 (for Open Products). The FCA expects firms to have identified gaps and weaknesses and remediated these issues by the 31st July 2023.
  4. Board report: The first board report needs to be delivered within 12 months of the rules coming into effect, so before the end of July 2024.
  5. Senior Management Accountability: The FCA have also added extra requirements for firms to reflect Consumer Duty within their Strategy, Governance, leadership and people policies, including remuneration. This is intended to address concerns regarding senior management accountability.
  6. Consumer Duty Champion: A new requirement to add a Consumer Duty Champion to the Board. The FCA has suggested this should be a NED, where practical. This role, alongside the CEO and Chair, is responsible for ensuring that Consumer Duty is adequately prioritised.
  7. Whistleblowing: The FCA has introduced a new rule requiring firms to notify the FCA if they become aware that another firm in the chain is not or may not be complying with Consumer Duty. A firm must also notify another firm in the chain if it thinks that firm has caused or contributed to harm to retail customers.
  8. Roles and Responsibilities: The FCA has clarified that it does not expect firms to re-do or challenge the value assessments carried out by manufacturers, but distributors do need to consider the overall charges that the customer might pay, including any that might result from the firm’s distribution strategy.
  9. PROD 4 Clarification: The FCA has also introduced a new rule confirming that firms that are already complying with product governance rules in, PROD 4 do not need to comply with any additional requirements under the Duty’s products and services outcome.


The Action List: The Non – Negotiable 4

  1. If you haven’t already, start mapping out your implementation plan. Early interaction with the Board is critical, it requires a strong top-down approach and engagement.
  2. Know your MI: what have you got, what do you need to get and how can you analyse it differently to give you greater insight into how you interact with your customers?
  3. Engage staff at all levels: your staff are valuable assets to help you identifying where your customer friction points are – use them!
  4. Engage with your partners in the distribution chain now – ensure you are in the same page early on. You’ll struggle to meet the 31st of July deadline if you aren’t aligned or clear needs and expectations of each party.


GreenKite may be in a position to help you with some of the issues you have on-hand, or that this analysis has prompted. Get in touch with us – we’d love to talk.

Sara Ager – CEO

Logical and creative in her approach, Sara, a solicitor, has worked in and for Lloyd’s managing agencies, Bermudian reinsurers, MGAs and brokers. Her particular strength is in helping businesses close the gap between ‘front-end’ commercial ambition and regulatory and legal requirements.

More information on how GreenKite can support your business

GreenKite Digital Promotions HealthCheck

More Resources from GK on Consumer Duty

GreenKite Webinar – Consumer Duty: Innovation Blocker or Driver?

GK Blog – Consumer Duty: Innovation Blocker or Driver?

GK Vlog – Digital Promotions – The New Compliance ‘Must-Do’?

Guest Blog – Customer Duty – Opportunity to Repair Trust

Guest Blog – It’s all about Trust


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