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Consumer Duty – How Ready Are Our Consultants?

Research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Aviva shows the  upcoming rollout of the Consumer Duty isn’t among the top 10 concerns of advisers.

It was found that, ahead of the implementation in less than four months, only 41% of advisers have begun preparing while 33% said their firm doesn’t have a Consumer Duty champion. Additionally, 26% of those polled are clear about how to prepare but have not started; 16%, both not clear and have not initiated preparations.

In terms of adviser concerns, Consumer Duty ranked 11th out of 14. Topping the list were inflation, the cost of living and the energy crisis, and the recession.

“In the words of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), the Consumer Duty ‘raises the bar’,” said Al Ward, head of Aviva’s adviser platform. “I agree. It is demanding a cultural shift that truly places the customer at the heart of everything we do. And, crucially, it will measure us against outcomes, not just actions.” 

Ward added: “It would be misguided to see it as a rebranding of TCF (Treating Customers Fairly). The change is much more fundamental than that.

“One of the most important changes that the Consumer Duty will demand of us is that we must provide evidence that we are delivering good outcomes. While it’s encouraging to see a majority of advisers anticipating significant changes in their customer processes, I would invite advisers who feel no change is necessary to reconsider.”

According to the survey, 60% believe their due diligence processes will change. Meanwhile, 84% agree that the Consumer Duty feels like TCF.

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