With the consequences of the pandemic continuing to unfold the FCA has highlighted how customer outcomes remain their priority and how they will be continuing to do this in a speech from Nisha Arora, Director of Consumer and Retail Policy for the FCA. Arora who spoke at the Westminster Business Forum earlier this month praised companies for how they managed to quickly follow new guidelines to implement good practices when the pandemic began in March 2020. They are now hoping that companies can not only continue to support their customers with these guidelines but also to enhance their process for customers including accessing assistance digitally and even automating aspects of the process, Arora also included emphasis on signposting to non-digital access for support.
Emphasis has been put on the FCA being quicker to track trends and implement change before it becomes ‘normal’ this comes after addressing how we can soon expect Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) firms to be regulated. Coming at a time when we see more stories of consumers themselves either becoming vulnerable or facing hardship after utilising BNPL credit and how firms can ensure that we can expect good outcomes from accessing BNPL credit. Which isn’t to say the outcomes are disproportionately negative as we have seen many positive outcomes in customer experience from having access to buy-now-pay-later in the short term.
The FCA are addressing their intentions to become pro-active instead of re-active within their regulations of firms and addressing the trends with credit before we begin to see the negative impacts they can have on consumers becoming widespread.