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FCA signals vulnerable customers and climate change priorities

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  • 07/11/2019
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FCA signals vulnerable customers and climate change priorities
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will continue pushing for financial services industry improvements on vulnerable customers and climate change, director of innovation Nick Cook has said.

 

Cook, who was speaking at the Chief Data Officer Exchange Financial Services Conference on 6 November, also highlighted the ongoing challenge of finding relevant and adequate ways to regulate technology-led developments in financial services.

“While lower prices for lower risk can seem a desirable outcome of [data-led developments], the converse of consumers deemed ‘high risk’ being priced out of insurance or prevented access to credit is an often unwanted and unintended consequence,” Cook said.

 

Focus on outcomes

He claimed the FCA aimed not to get lost in the detail of issues but instead would focus on outcomes including “supporting the UK to move to a green economy by responding to the challenges posed by climate change.”

In terms of regulating new technologies, he pointed to the success of the FCA’s Sandbox initiative, which enables businesses to test innovative propositions in the market with real consumers.

Sandbox has been used by 700 firms since it was introduced five years ago, with 47 having completed testing.

However, Cook said: “We haven’t seen true disruption at scale, with big and mid-size players not being avid consumers of Sandbox in particular.”

The initiative has launched with a sixth cohort in October, this time looking specifically at initiatives “to make finance work for everyone by addressing issues such as access, exclusion and vulnerability; to support the UK to move to a greener economy; and to use technology to help regulated firms comply with their obligations.”

 

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