Consumer Duty sets higher standards for financial services customers

The Duty sets higher standards of consumer protection. Find out what this means for you and what you should do if your provider isn’t meeting these standards.

On 31 July, new rules came into force for financial services firms.

The new rules, known as the Consumer Duty, set a higher standard of consumer protection in financial services.

The Duty means you should get: 

  • the support you need, when you need it 
  • communications you understand 
  • products and services that meet your needs and offer fair value 

We’re closely monitoring how firms are putting our new rules in place and will take action against those that aren’t following them.

What the Duty means for you 

Under the Duty, firms should be open and honest, avoid causing foreseeable harm, and support you to pursue your financial goals. You should expect: 

  • helpful and accessible customer support, so it's as easy to sort out a problem, switch or cancel your product, as it was to buy it in the first place
  • timely and clear information you can understand, so you can make good financial decisions. This means important information shouldn’t be buried in lengthy terms and conditions
  • providers to offer products and services that are right for you, rather than pushing products and services you don’t need
  • products and services to provide fair value. This should mean you won’t be ripped off or have to pay costs you didn’t expect. But while your provider should offer you a fair price, it doesn't mean it will be the best deal for you, so you should still shop around
  • firms to consider if you’re in a vulnerable situation when dealing with you. This could be due to poor health or financial troubles, for instance 

These rules apply to all new and existing products and services that are currently on sale. For older products that are no longer on sale, the rules will apply from 31 July 2024.

What to do if you have a problem with your provider

If you have a problem with your provider, or you don’t feel they’re meeting the Duty's standards, you should complain to them. If you're unhappy with their response, then you should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you don’t think you are getting good service or value for money you should shop around and consider switching.

Find out more about your rights with financial services and how to complain.

Page updates

: Editorial amendment Updated 'avoid harm' to 'avoid causing foreseeable harm'.