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Nearly 80% of older borrowers don’t know about Consumer Duty

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Most consumers who are aged 45 and over do not know about the incoming Consumer Duty, a survey from a later life mortgage business found.

A survey conducted by mortgage provider Air revealed that 79% of people over the age of 45 do not know about the new rules and 38% are unaware of what the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does. 

Women were less likely to know about regulation, as the poll found that only 17% of women knew of Consumer Duty compared to 26% of men. 

Just 9% of respondents said they knew what consequences the UK financial services sector would face if things went wrong, while only 3% expressed an understanding of the specific measures, actions and requirements of regulation. 

Among those who knew about Consumer Duty, half were confident that it would have a positive impact on consumers. A tenth believed the impact would be negative, while 18%said the change would be significantly positive. 

What good outcomes look like 

Despite the low understanding of Consumer Duty, the respondents gave their opinions of what good consumer outcomes looked like to them. Some 44% said this meant a clear explanation of fees and charges, 34% said checks and balances to avoid fraud, while 27% said ease of contact mattered. 

A further 26% said good outcomes came from an understanding of the appropriateness of fees and charges for the product or service provided, which 24% said literature that was clear and not misleading was important. 

Paul Glynn, CEO of Air, said: “While it will come as no surprise to many that the regulatory changes that the industry has been working on for the past year have not hit the radar of the most consumers, the standards that they expect from financial services companies are clear and will be delivered by this regulation. The need for customers to be protected from fraud and scams is something that the later life lending industry is arguably not only doing but is a step ahead with the use of independent legal advice and a real focus on supporting vulnerability.

“However, the desire for fees and charges to be appropriate and clearly explained goes to the heart of fair value and is something that as an industry, we need to ensure we listen to. The remuneration that advisers receive needs to be commensurate to the high-quality service provided and we should not be afraid to question the status quo with the objective of providing good customer outcomes.” 

He added: “Customer understanding and support are also part of the outcomes that Consumer Duty seeks to deliver, and this research clearly underlines how important customers think these issues are.  As an industry, this new legislation provides us with the opportunity to review our systems and processes to ensure that following the end of July, we are better positioned than ever before to support the increasing numbers of older borrowers who seek our advice.”