The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has assessed 9 firms on their savings products following concerns of unfair saving deals for consumers.
The Consumer Duty was introduced in July this year, making it a requirement for firms to ensure product and services retain and deliver fair values to their customers. The 14-point action plan defined in July will also ensure that consumers will have access to a competitive savings market.
The FCA will now analyse the information banks and building societies have provided, and will publish an update during autumn to list any steps to take should areas of concern be identified.
Since the July plan was published, the FCA adds that there has been greater availability of higher interest rates in both term limited and easy access accounts.
Andrew Gething, managing director of MorganAsh said: “Where there may still be those questioning the new regulation, today’s action by the FCA is an important reminder to all financial services that Consumer Duty is now live and firms are bound to meet its requirements - or face investigation. As the base rate has continued to rise, the spotlight has remained on savings and the rates being offered by both banks and lenders.
“As part of the overarching goal to deliver good outcomes to consumers, ensuring fair value is an important component. This spans much further than just making sure savings deals represent fair value, requiring firms to support the financial resilience of its customers by informing them when higher rates are available. The FCA itself says the pace of firms to act on this has been slow, highlighting the clear need for the regulator to step in. As with all areas of Consumer Duty, communication and good data remains fundamental."
The FCA promised to clamp down on banks failing to meet requirements to meet customer needs during the rollout of the Consumer Duty, as firms continuously failed to serve consumers with 7.4 million people unable to reach their providers in the 12 months before May 2022.