’We wanted to set higher and clearer standards and want firms to put their clients first,’ says director

The FCA’s director of competition has stressed that the Consumer Duty rules are ”not about stopping or reducing profits” as he looked to dispel a myth about the regulation.

Speaking during an online seminar hosted by Fairer Finance, Graeme Reynolds said the rules are about setting “higher and clearer standards” and that profits could not come at the cost of fair value.

The Consumer Duty rules were introduced on 31 July 2023 and requires firms to measure, analyse and benchmark their performance across a number of metrics to bolster service.

These metrics include products and services, fair value, consumer understanding and consumer support.

“There is little doubt that the Consumer Duty rules and guidance [are] one of the market’s most significant regulations,” Reynolds said.

”We wanted to set higher and clearer standards and want firms to put their clients first.”

Speaking about fair value, he highlighted the FCA’s concerns around the sale of products or services that the consumer did not need, as well as charges that were not applicable to the product being offered.

He also said it was key for firms to consider whether the price charged was commensurate with the benefit received by the consumer from the product or service.

“What we want to see is evidence that firms are [taking] steps to tackle a lack of understand and opaque fees,” Reynolds warned.

He also said he wanted to dispel a myth that the Consumer Duty rules were there to prevent companies making a profit.

“It is certainly not about stopping or reducing profits,” he explained.

“We understand the need to deliver profits, but that cannot come at the cost of customers getting fair value.”


In turn, Reynolds stressed that firms had to ask themselves whether customers get fair value from the goods and services they provide.

He said that doing this was a company’s responsibility and that any business should be proactive in its compliance rather than waiting for the FCA to intervene.

However, Reynolds said the FCA had been giving advice on how to deal with the Consumer Duty rules.

“Many companies are looking to the FCA for further steers as how to comply with Consumer Duty rules,” he explained.

“While the onus is on firms, we have been given some steers on how we see the rules being applied.”