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Maintaining the Consumer Duty standards with lender support – Stinton

by: Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry for intermediaries
  • 09/08/2023
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Maintaining the Consumer Duty standards with lender support – Stinton
With the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Consumer Duty standards now in force, expert advice can help brokers ensure they continue to meet these regulations.

The new regulations have raised the consumer protection bar from acting “fairly” towards their customers to consistently ensuring, and demonstrating, that they “deliver good outcomes”.   

For the majority of intermediaries, preparing for the deadline was a matter of evidencing their work. Similarly, the main focus now is to consistently demonstrate their compliance with the rules.  

Brokers can keep on top of this by maximising the lender support available. So, how can they effectively maintain their compliance levels while tending to other competing priorities in a fast-moving market?  



By working in tandem with lenders, brokers can repeatedly verify that they are offering customers fair value, with the cost of new products and services commensurate with their benefit. Liaising with lenders and their business development management (BDM) teams will be valuable, given brokers work closely with them day-to-day.   

Collaborating with BDMs means that brokers can remain fully aware of the fast-changing product landscape, so that they can give each client bespoke advice according to their unique circumstances.  

By mapping this whole process of helping clients find the most suitable products, brokers can regularly showcase that their actions are improving consumer outcomes. Additional support is also available from appointed representative networks and mortgage clubs to help accurately interpret and put into practice the Consumer Duty. 

Frequent contact with networks, lenders and support teams is especially important given the current market, as it will help brokers keep abreast of product developments and changes.  

Contacting telephone BDMs, checking lenders’ social media and email updates for any useful nuggets of information, and using digital chat tools, are all quick and convenient ways for brokers to stay informed of product and rate changes amid the fast-paced market.  


Ready-made lender resources 

Naturally, lenders are also impacted by the Consumer Duty regulations and, alongside working to evidence their own compliance, have published guides and templates to help others in the industry such as brokers. 

For example, Coventry for Intermediaries’ Fair Value Templates are specifically designed to help brokers check that they are discharging their obligations under the new Consumer Duty guidelines. Such resources eliminate much of the time-consuming, administrative tasks required to meet these standards on an ongoing basis. 

Some lenders even have broker guides on specific types of customers, with more focused guidance on supporting these groups through their mortgage journey. For example, brokers who want to improve their support for customers with vulnerabilities can access a full guide from Coventry for intermediaries. 

In line with three of the FCA’s 10 key questions, this offers pragmatic tips on best practice in communicating with these clients and ensuring information is clear and accessible to them before they make any financial decisions.  

Brokers can use such guides to supplement their own strategies and signal their continued dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients.  

Now that Consumer Duty has arrived, brokers need to keep up the hard work and build on the foundations they have created to meet the FCA’s deadline. This means regularly demonstrating their good practices in giving comprehensive, individualised guidance and helping customers realise their financial objectives.  

By leaning into the industry support available, brokers can continuously evidence their fantastic work more seamlessly. 

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