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Abdulali Jiwaji comments on how Consumer Duty has impacted wealth management in FinTech Global

By Abdulali Jiwaji

Partner Abdulali Jiwaji comments on how the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Duty rules have impacted wealth management firms so far, several months after they came into force.

Abdulali’s comments were published in FinTech Global, 2 May 2024, and can be found here.

“The FCA’s approach on this has been quite measured so far as firms work through implementation.

“It seems more likely that issues will emerge in relation to closed book products.  It is here that there is likely to be a mismatch between the new requirements as to product design and customer experience, and legacy issues.

“We are starting to see the FCA reference the consumer duty in a number of contexts – for example in relation to APP fraud.  Victims of fraud will fight as hard as they can for redress, and for firms there is then a perfect storm of overlapping duties as to AML and integrity of systems and consumer protection.

“There is a real likelihood of enforcement actions and fines within 2024, as the FCA will be keen to set examples of good and bad practice.

“It’s clear that the FCA is looking for engagement at board level – senior managers are in the spotlight on implementation progress, and they need to be able to give a good account of their actions.

“While there has been a huge effort in the industry to meet the targets, inevitably there will be some that just can’t make it.  And if this can’t be explained at board level, individuals will be exposed.

“Markets and regulators overseas are following with keen interest.   There’s probably a period of watching and waiting before we see any direct changes in other markets, but there is a definite resonance in jurisdictions like Australia where we already see some similar approaches in terms of financial regulation.

“To the extent that the duty bites at a structural level in terms of product design and culture, that’s bound to filter across within global institutions.”

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