The FCA's proposed consumer duty could well bite asset managers in ways that they may not presently expect.
It would apply to any firm subject to the principles conducting regulated business where there is an ultimate transaction with a retail consumer. Crucially, a firm doesn't need an end relationship with that customer for the duty to apply to it. The only thing that's necessary is that it has the ability, through its regulated activities, to influence material aspects of the design, target market or performance of a product or service.
This by itself should cause asset managers to sit up and take notice. For example: wholesale managers may be caught if their funds are sold to retail consumers. Or a MiFID managers may be caught if they are involved in the design of funds that are sold to retail consumers.
And the duty may well go beyond what's already set out in PROD and COBS. It may signal a shift in regulatory approach so as to push up standards across the board and to focus more on outcomes and less on process.
We've recorded a podcast episode for asset managers on these subjects as well as on how the proposals may impact customer communications and bite when it comes to fair value. Click here to listen (and subscribe with your favourite podcast app). An infographic accompanies this episode.
And for all our resources on the FCA's proposed consumer duty including more podcast episodes and infographics, visit our webpage.
Our proposals extend to firms that are involved in the manufacture or supply of products and services to retail clients, even if they do not have a direct relationship with the end customer.