Yesterday we published a blog post taking a look at what Kind Consultancy has achieved this year and alongside that, we wanted to have a look back over the year in Governance, Risk and Compliance, and what regulatory changes and other issues will have shaped the last 12 months for our clients.
Out in the industry, the year has seen previously less examined areas coming under close scrutiny from the UK’s regulatory bodies. It’s been an interesting year for Motor Finance for example, with the February publication of the FCA’s final findings on the sector kicking off a year that saw them near-constantly in the regulatory spotlight. Personal Contract Purchases and commission models have been in the firing line, and 2019 saw much of the Motor Finance industry taking steps to distance themselves from the questionable practices that had generated controversy and complaints for years.
Companies who deal with the complaints generated not just by Motor Finance but right across the Financial Services & Banking world will have faced changes of their own this year, with Claims Management Companies coming under the FCA’s regulatory remit. Since summer all CMCs that fall under the FCA’s purview have needed to ensure they can prove they had the full consent of the consumer before pursuing a claim, that they refused to take on spurious claims that can’t be substantiated and to be more clear and upfront about their fees. Elsewhere in the Complaints space, the end of the deadline for submitting PPI complaints on August 29th saw a huge surge in the number of complaints filed and many of the big banks are now working to catch up and clear the log, which is threatening to spill well into 2020.
In the Pensions world, the announcement that the FCA will ban contingent charging on defined benefit pension transfers in spring 2020 has seen a surge of activity. This arose from the regulator’s consultation on pension transfers which concluded in October and will see other rules changing around how much training pension transfer specialists must undertake as well as changes intended to get consumers more engaged in the advice process when they publish the final outcome early next year.
It’s been a year where many parts of the Financial Services world has seeing increased attention from the FCA – the final expansion of SM&CR this month now covers a much wider spectrum of FS businesses. Newly affected businesses will have had a busy couple of months preparing for the regulation, which aims to reduce harm to consumers through a much more concrete system of accountability. The December 9th deadline for training Senior Managers and Certified Staff on the new Conduct rules would have been the final big date in the 2019 GRC calendar for many of our clients.
As the year draws to a close, we look forward to the publication of the FCA’s 2020/2021 business plan in Q2, setting out the roadmap for the next year in Governance, Risk & compliance. It may be an uncertain time in Financial Services and Banking, with the industry landscape continuing to be reshaped by regulatory changes, technological developments and Brexit looming on the horizon, but uncertainty also creates opportunity, and we’re looking forward to helping organisations old and new navigate the next 12 months.