As a quality assurance or compliance professional in the finance and insurance sectors, you are likely familiar with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its regulatory requirements. The FCA has recently introduced a new regulation, known as the FCA Consumer Duty, which aims to increase consumer protection and improve the standards of conduct for firms operating in the finance industry.
Let’s explore this further. Read our FCA Consumer Duty summary and learn how quality assurance teams in contact centres can help businesses comply with this new regulation.
FCA Consumer Duty Summary
The FCA Consumer Duty is a new regulation that will come into effect in the UK on 31st July 2023. The purpose of the regulation is to enhance consumer protection by improving the standards of conduct for firms operating in the financial sector. The regulation is based on three core principles:
- Consumers should receive products and services that meet their needs and are marketed in a way that is clear, fair, and not misleading.
- Consumers should not face unreasonable barriers when they try to access financial products and services or exercise their rights.
- Consumers should receive products and services that are designed to meet their needs throughout their lifetime and are delivered fairly, taking account of their changing circumstances.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said ‘Putting good outcomes for customers at the heart of firms’ strategies and business objectives will build trust and modernise how we regulate financial services.
‘Leaders have a key role to play here. We have a world-leading financial services industry which serves its customers, colleagues and shareholders well through competition, innovation and leveraging talent. We want to see boards and senior management further embed the interests of customers into their firms’ culture and purpose.’
Consumer Duty and Quality Assurance teams
Quality assurance teams in contact centres are responsible for ensuring that their employees comply with the FCA Consumer Duty summary when interacting with customers.
QA teams need to guarantee that these customer interactions are designed to meet the customer’s needs, are not misleading, and are delivered fairly. A robust quality framework must be imbedded throughout their lifecycle to ensure that the customer receives a good outcome and vulnerable customers are protected. This means that QA teams need to review the human interactions between their employees and customers regularly, and across multiple channels.
Additionally, quality assurance teams need to ensure that employees are trained on the principles of the FCA Consumer Duty and understand how to apply them in their day-to-day work.
Better QA leads to better customer outcomes
Here are three ways QA teams can contribute to better customer outcomes and help businesses comply with the Consumer Duty.
Quality assurance processes: Quality assurance processes involve reviewing customer interactions and identifying areas for improvement. QA teams can use these processes to ensure that customer interactions meet the FCA Consumer Duty principles. Additionally, QA processes can help identify training needs for employees, and improvements across interactions.
Call monitoring: Call monitoring involves listening to customer interactions in real-time. This allows call centre quality assurance teams to identify areas where employees may not be complying with the FCA Consumer Duty principles. However, it would be impossible to monitor 100% of calls live, and that’s where Auto-QA comes in. It allows automatic monitoring of 100% of interactions, assesses those conversations, and delivers reports on call quality and compliance. This can then be used to drive performance improvement through coaching and training. Additionally, Evaluagent’s new SmartScore brings ChatGPT into the mix, reducing the time to evaluate a conversation to less than 10 seconds.
Compliance measures: Organisations can put in place compliance measures, such as policies and procedures, to ensure that employees are aware of the FCA Consumer Duty principles and how to comply with them. Additionally, firms can provide training to employees to ensure that they understand how to increase consumer protection and improve the standards of conduct.
Want to learn more? Speak with our team today.