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The Consumer Duty is a collective term for a new FCA Principle and set of rules and guidance, which FCA have designed to improve the focus of firms on customer outcomes and to reduce instance of customer harm.

The Consumer Duty will take effect in respect of open products and services from July 2023. The Consumer Duty represents one of the biggest regulatory rule implementations of recent times and will likely have a significant effect on the way the market works and on how the FCA approach regulation over the coming years.

The FCA felt that there were practises in various parts of the financial services industry which were acting counter to customer interests, but which weren’t definitely outside of the letter of the pre-existing rules and covers retail activities for all regulated firms. It doesn’t cover unregulated business or activities not involving retail customers.

The Duty applies across the distribution chain from product manufacturers right the way down to product distribution and firms undertaking post-sale activities. This will include firms who do not have a direct relationship with the end customer but can have an impact on the outcomes that these customers get.

Download the TMA Consumer Duty Guide here


Tune in to our first episode of our Consumer Duty Q&A, where our Development Director Lisa Martin interviews Martin Sykes, Compliance Operations Director to discover how the Consumer Duty will affect four crucial areas of firms processes.

The four areas of focus include:

  • Fair Value Assessments – Does your client understand the products and services you are offering?
  • Product transfers – It may not be the cheapest option, but it is the most suitable?
  • Specialist Lending – Understanding the benefit of advice from someone else.
  • Protection – Is protection part of your process? Do your clients know the risk?


In episode three, with only 14 business days until the Consumer Duty deadline on the 31st of July, Development Director, Lisa Martin interviews Martin Sykes, Compliance Operations Director to talk about Customer Communications and how advisers can prepare for beyond the duty deadline.

  • Communicating with your customers with a focus on topics of suitability and disclosure – structuring talks so that they understand what you put in front of them.
  • Signposting so that customers can source additional information and services.
  • Identifying techniques that will encourage your customers to engage more with the materials you provide them.
  • Embedding Consumer Duty practices long-term, past the July 31st deadline.


In episode two Development Director, Lisa Martin interviews Martin Sykes, Compliance Operations Director to explore some of the questions we’ve received from firms ahead of the deadline.

  • Communicating with your clients and checking their understanding with sustainability reports. Using simplification of language to avoid the message getting lost by industry jargon.
  • Identifying vulnerability and encouraging clients to say if they don’t understand something or need something delivered in a different way.
  • How to consider recording information for the regulator to improve customer outcomes.
  • Treating customers fairly, ensuring this is part of your business model.


BY Martin Sykes, Compliance Operations Director

With Consumer Duty coming into force on Monday 31 July 2023. This 20-minute video from Martin Sykes, Compliance Operations Director explains in clear and simple terms, what Consumer Duty means and what you need to do.

Implementing the consumer Duty – what do you need to do?

Things to consider before creating your plan

Consumer Duty is focused on Consumer Outcomes rather than on compliance with individual, specific rules. So, in implementing, you should look at your services through a customer lens; for example

Map out the various stages of the mortgage and protection journey and consider at each stage whether they act to deliver good outcomes and comply with the cross-cutting rules. Look particularly for areas where the process might be structured for your convenience or benefit at the expense of the customer. Be honest in this assessment.

  • Consider what services you provide and what your total remuneration is for these. Is the remuneration clear and do the total charges appear reasonable? The FCA’s fair value test is whether there is a reasonable relationship between the price the consumer pays and the overall benefits of a product. Are there any circumstances where your remuneration or charges might impact this? You will need to consider the lenders assessments of where their products offer fair value as well, once they are published in April 2023.
  • Look at the ways in which you communicate with customers (e.g. in advertising, in the advice process, on social media). Do these meet the requirements of the cross-cutting rules and the more detailed guidance in relating to the outcomes?
  • Do a hygiene check of how you deal with customers outside of the advice process (the Customer Support outcome). Consider whether any of this makes it difficult for your customer to do what they want. Are you placing any barriers in the way of this? Document the completion of your plan and any changes that you have made. This will provide the audit trail should the FCA ever ask you to show how you implemented the Consumer Duty.

Structuring your implementation plan

The plan should be proportionate to the size and complexity of your firm. If you are a small business then the FCA will not be expecting you to produce a highly complex or detailed plan. But they will still expect you to be able to show that you have considered your business, services and practises in line with the Consumer Duty.

Structuring an Implementation Plan This depends a bit on the size and complexity of your business. But we would suggest that it is structured so that it recognises the key areas likely to be impacted by the Consumer Duty and the four outcomes

  • Products and Services
  • Customer Understanding;
  • Customer Support and
  • Price and Value.

You could also identify separate elements in respect of how you will monitor adherence to the Customer Duty Rules and, for larger businesses, whether you need to make any changes to your governance arrangements. For each of these, the plan could capture a high level description of the activities you plan to take and by when. In general it might make sense not to set completion timescales that are very short: a lot of work and learning will be taking place in the industry over the coming months – which might help you to shape and understand what you should do in more detail. You don’t want to have to do the work twice

Downloadable implementation Template

As part of The Consumer Duty, the FCA have requested that each regulated firm completes an implementation plan to review all areas of their business in line with these aims.

To support you in this, TMA have created an Implementation Plan template, with suggested wording and things to consider when giving examples.

the implementation plan template Download


We know (from other FCA industry publications) that they have certain areas of focus in our market. These include:

  • The price of products and services in more niche advice areas – like second charges, bridging, equity release and, to some extent, debt consolidation. Here they are concerned that the industry might not always be meeting the ‘fair value’ tests in the new rules and guidance.
  • The quality of customer communications (like adverts and materials issued as part of the advice or sales process). Social Media is also an area where some practises or and promotions in the industry might not always be meeting the new (or existing) principles or rules.
  • Practises of quoting insurance prices with add-ons included as the default (this is called out specifically in the Consumer Duty Guidance).
    It is likely that the Consumer Duty will be used to progress their agenda in these areas.

Partner – Fair Value Assessments

As of April 2023 all lenders and protection providers should have completed a Fair Value Assessment sheet, a document that contains all the necessary information you need to understand products and how they meet the four consumer duty outcome rules (Products & Services, Price & value, consumer understanding & consumer support) for their existing products and services. They must share with mortgage clubs to meet their obligations under the Duty, and identify where changes need to be made.

To help you navigate the Fair Value Assessments, TMA have collated all relevant information into one helpful website page.

Click here to find out some of the changes being made to meet the requirements of Consumer Duty. 

Pease note all these documents are for intermediary use only and are not intended to be provided to customers.