Aviva Research Shows UK Financial Advisers Prepared for Consumer Duty, But Challenges Remain Ahead of Deadline

Aviva Research Shows UK Financial Advisers Prepared for Consumer Duty, But Challenges Remain Ahead of Deadline

(IN BRIEF) According to research by Aviva, financial advisers in the UK are largely prepared to evidence their work on Consumer Duty outcomes, with over 90% indicating that they have either completed or are currently working on providing evidence for the four Customer Outcomes. The research shows a slight increase in the number of advisers who have plans in place to meet the requirements. However, there is still progress needed, as 29% of firms have not yet appointed a Consumer Duty Champion as required. The study also reveals that 89% of advisers agree that the Consumer Duty feels like a rebranded version of the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 28-Jul-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — With less than a month to go before the implementation of Consumer Duty, new Aviva research shows advisers remain comfortable over the approaching deadline of 31 July.

When asked whether plans are in place to provide evidence showing they are meeting the four Customer Outcomes, over 9 out of 10 say they have either been completed, or work is in progress.

93% of advisers have either finished their planning or have ongoing work to provide evidence for the consumer support outcome, and the numbers remain over 90% for the others – 92% for the product and services, and the price and value customer outcomes, and 91% for consumer understanding.

Within this, there has been a slight increase in the number of advisers who say their plans are in place, although the number who have done so is still less than half. 47% say the work is complete for the Product and Services (44% in February), the Price and Value (vs 41%), and the Consumer Support (vs 42%) outcomes. 43% (42% in February) have completed the Consumer Understanding outcome work.

Al Ward, Head of Adviser Platform at Aviva, commented “When we asked advisers how prepared they were for the imminent arrival of Consumer Duty in February,  we commented at the time that advisers seemed in relaxed mood about their obligations to comply. Whilst in one way it’s clearly good news that advisers consider that they have necessary measures and processes in place, we would urge them to make double-sure that the right preparations have been made by 31 July. For instance, this round of research shows that the requirement to appoint a Consumer Duty Champion by 31 October last year still hasn’t been met by 29% of firms, although that’s slightly down from 33% who said the same in February.

“In addition, fewer advisers say they have started preparations than say plans are in place to provide evidence against outcomes,  which suggests that existing plans are considered sufficient to meet the new regulations.”

Underlining the  approach towards the 31 July implementation, only 1% of advisers surveyed in June disagreed with the statement ‘Consumer Duty feels like a rebranded TCF’; indeed, at 89%, more advisers now agree with this statement than when asked the same question in February, when 84% agreed and 2% disagreed.

In June, advisers ranked worries about Consumer Duty at 11th in a list of 14. Overall, the ranking of the list of specific concerns has changed very little since February, and the top three are still firstly inflation, followed by cost of living and the energy crisis, with the possibility of recession coming in third.

Overall, over two-thirds of advisers are looking to providers for support with requirements; 69% say they are looking for training support, 66% want Regulatory guidance and 67% are looking for help with Client communications.

Al Ward concluded “One of the most important changes that Consumer Duty will deliver is that we must provide evidence of good customer outcomes. It’s encouraging that there has been an increase in the number of advisers who have completed their work to provide this evidence, and more still who have started this preparation.

“Rather than a TCF rebrand, we see Consumer Duty as significantly raising the bar on ensuring good customer outcomes, so for those who may have started this but require help, there are good and accessible resources readily available, both from FCA, service providers like SBG or SimplyBiz and providers, including Aviva. I’d really encourage advisers to take the time to use the resources and time available to make sure they’re ready for 31 July.”

Notes to editors:

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Media Contact:

Catherine Comben
UK Insurance Media Relations
Phone: +44 (0) 7800 692 087
Email: catherine.comben@aviva.com




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