FCA proposes changes to encourage better customer communications

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced plans to remove a number of ineffective communication requirements from its Handbook.

In June 2015, the FCA published a discussion paper on Smarter Consumer Communications, in which it called on firms to think about how they can improve their communications to help consumers make more effective decisions about their finances. At this time, the FCA also set out its intention to consult to remove a number of existing disclosures as part of its commitment to create a sustainable regulatory framework.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said:

"We would like to see firms changing the way they interact with their customers. We have been encouraged to see a number of firms are already doing this.

"Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to sustainable regulation and addresses disclosures that are not working for consumers, giving firms the freedom to communicate with their customers in a more flexible and open way."

The FCA is proposing to amend the following rules and guidance:

  • The Consumer-Friendly Principles and Practices of Financial Management
  • Short report
  • The Initial Disclosure Document/Combined Initial Disclosure Document
  • Services and Costs Disclosure Document.

The consultation will close on 18 December 2015. In addition, the FCA is now reviewing the feedback received on the Smarter Consumer Communications discussion paper and will consider whether further changes can be made to improve customer outcomes.

Notes to editors

  1. Consultation Paper 15/32: Smarter Consumer Communications: Removing ineffective disclosure requirements in our Handbook
  2. In June 2015, the FCA published a discussion paper on Smarter Customer Communications.
  3. On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  4. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  5. Find out more information about the FCA.