The consumer duty is a “watershed moment” for firms offering investment services and financial advice that must be taken extremely seriously, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Speaking at Pimfa’s consumer duty conference today (January 31), Therese Chambers, director of consumer investments at the FCA, warned firms they should not consider the duty to be a “re-expression of treating customers fairly”.

Chambers urged firms to recognise the purpose behind the duty is to create a fundamental cultural change across firms that is led from the top and filters across the whole organisation.

“The consumer duty is a watershed moment and a key priority for the FCA, we are looking for a fundamental change in firms’ approaches to ensure the best client outcomes, not just technical compliance,” Chambers said.

She told delegates that the duty is a substantial uplift in consumer standards and rules from July 2023.

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