What Consumer Duty means to me: A Q and A with Mike Morrow

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For financial professionals only

As businesses continue to embed Consumer Duty into their working practices, we’ve been asking people from across Parmenion how they think Consumer Duty will change the financial services sector. First up is Mike Morrow, Chief Commercial Office at Parmenion.

1. Is Consumer Duty a help or a hindrance?

A lot of firms will see it as a hindrance, something that takes up a lot of their time when they’re doing ‘just fine’ and most of their customers are ‘happy enough’.

But if they look deeper, as the Consumer Duty is asking them to, they’ll see whether or not they’re meeting the mark for their customers.

Businesses need to look at what they’re doing, how they’re communicating with their customers and the outcomes they’re delivering for their clients.

To me, this can only be a good thing. At Parmenion, we’re doing this. We put delivering good outcomes for customers at the heart of what we do by reviewing our existing collateral, providing support to adviser firms and working with experts to help our industry be ready for the April and July deadlines.

2. What opportunities does Consumer Duty present to financial services firms?

This is an opportunity for businesses to look at the service they’re giving to their customers. Firms should be asking themselves the hard questions: what have I done well? What could I improve on? How have I helped?

And the answers to these questions should be used to make real, tangible changes that’ll benefit their customers and their business.

If Consumer Duty is embraced as the FCA is hoping for, the financial services industry could become truly customer-centric, with products and services created in a way that can evolve with the customer.

3. How will Consumer Duty help both customers and businesses?

Consumer Duty puts everyone on the same page.

Businesses need to consider the four outcomes when they’re creating products or services, in their communications, and importantly be able to evidence this.

So when the customer has to take a decision, they’re comfortable they’ve understood the information and can confidently make an educated decision. And that means no more bamboozled customers who have been given too much information they won’t understand.

4. What does Consumer Duty mean to you?

Put simply, it's a change in attitude and a chance to do better for customers. I'm excited to watch our industry grow with the changes.

This article is for financial professionals only. Any information contained within is of a general nature and should not be construed as a form of personal recommendation or financial advice. Nor is the information to be considered an offer or solicitation to deal in any financial instrument or to engage in any investment service or activity.

Parmenion accepts no duty of care or liability for loss arising from any person acting, or refraining from acting, as a result of any information contained within this article. All investment carries risk. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and investors may get back less than they put in. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.  

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