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FCA proposes guidance on fair treatment of vulnerable customers

Regulator wants more consistency across financial services sectors

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation on proposed guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.

The guidance sets out the regulator’s view of what is required of firms to ensure that vulnerable consumers are consistently treated fairly across financial services sectors. 

The FCA said it wants to see doing the right thing for vulnerable consumers deeply embedded in firms’ culture.

It added that firms will need to think about what the guidance means for their business and customers, and how they are understanding and addressing the needs of vulnerable customers.

Although many firms have already made significant progress in how they treat vulnerable consumers, the FCA believes there needs to be more consistency across financial services sectors.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, warned that if firms are not doing enough to ensure that consumers are treated fairly, the regulator will take action.

“Firms need to take particular care to ensure that vulnerable consumers are treated fairly as they may be more likely to experience harm,” he added.

The guidance will be consulted on in two stages and the FCA is asking for comments on the first stage by 4 October 2019.