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Consumer Duty driving increase in protection conversations ‒ AMI

  • 31/10/2023
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Consumer Duty driving increase in protection conversations ‒ AMI
Two in five (40 per cent) financial advisers have reported seeing a jump in conversations with their customers around the issue of protection since the introduction of the FCA’s Consumer Duty regulations.

That’s according to a new study from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), ahead of its fourth annual AMI Protection Viewpoint Report on protection within the mortgage industry.

The trade body found that the new regulations have acted as a catalyst for broadening discussions around protection products, with a third (33 per cent) noticing changes to how they are required to evidence these conversations on file. Around one in four (24 per cent) said they were now talking to clients about a different variety of protection options.

Despite this, more than  a fifth (22 per cent) said they had not seen any protection-related changes made by their firm since the implementation of the new rules.

The study also suggested that advisers are missing out on potential opportunities for selling protection products, given more than a quarter (28 per cent) of customers who could not recall a protection conversation with their mortgage adviser said they would be interested in having one.

Stacy Penn (pictured), senior policy adviser at AMI, said it was encouraging to see how so many broker firms had embraced Consumer Duty, with clients seeing the benefits of having better conversations around protection.

She added that the upcoming AMI Viewpoint event had been titled ‘The Perception Gap’ in recognition of the fact that for years the industry has talked about the protection gap, but not made much progress in reducing it.

“We feel it’s time for a re-think as understanding perceptions, and more importantly tackling misperceptions, is the key to protecting more people,” she continued.

Rachel Lummis, director of Xpress Mortgages, said that Consumer Duty had given brokers the opportunity to ensure they were doing all we can “to put the needs of customers front and centre”, which was echoed by Carrie Johnson, customer life stage director at Royal London.

Johnson added: “This is a great outcome as we know the importance of having protection at the heart of the advice conversation, particularly when thinking about mortgages, as considering the range of products available will make a real difference to the financial health of clients throughout their lives.”

Earlier this year studies found that significant numbers of brokers were frustrated by what they deemed unnecessary questions in the protection process.

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