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Highlights from our Consumer Duty conference!

13 Sep, 2023

On September 12, Boring Money Insights hosted Consumer Duty- The Sequel, a half day event that gathered industry speakers from asset managers, platforms and advice firms for a dedicated Consumer Duty focused conference.

Here’s a short summary of key insights and observations which we hope you will find useful.

We shared a lot of insights and data throughout the morning from the extensive reports and consumer datasets we have built up over the years. We shared excerpts from our:

  • Market Monitor – this was the dashboard showing data from the DIY investor market – our quarterly report for platforms to track the DIY market and consumers.

  • Platform Investor Tracker – our benchmarking service for 26 platform brands – evidencing value and respective strengths and weaknesses .

  • Fund Investor Tracker – providing asset managers with consumer demographics, value insights, vulnerability data and new fund level insights for larger funds.

  • Advice Value Framework – evidencing the component parts of value and how to weight and measure these for advice firms.

  • Comms testing – as articulated by Georgiana, Research Director at Boring Money, based on the 100s of journeys and consumer comms we have tested.

At the start of the morning Chris Woolard reminded us that consumer duty was the biggest thing we’ve seen from the regulator in the last 10 years. He tabled the need for businesses to regroup with the consumer sitting truly at the heart of everything. After that, we got more granular with The Investment Association’s Mandeep Bhandal, talking candidly about the data struggles her members face, with the structural realities of their intermediated status. How can we use data - sure – but focus on the signal amongst the noise? She’s working hard on the data exchange between manufacturers and distributors, which Chris thinks may be one of the first things the FCA looks at.

Boring Money Founder and CEO Holly Mackay presenting at the Consumer Duty - The Sequel conferenceBoring Money Founder and CEO Holly Mackay presenting at the Consumer Duty - The Sequel conference

Broadridge’s Devin McCune and our own Jim Adams walked through one example of how we’re collaborating, using our combined data sets to help asset managers get to the ‘So What’ – actionable insights that lead to change and improvement for customers. We walked through a real European Equity fund to show how we can take specific funds and inform boards about their end customers in light of value, performance, and suitability issues. Come and talk to us if you’d like to hear more.

Our panellists Ed, Kat and Mona, from Benchmark, HL and BlackRock respectively, talked about what implementation had been like for them – clearly a huge effort all round. Ed had really focussed on value, going beyond simple satisfaction surveys which don’t really unveil the whole picture. We’ve worked with Benchmark and built a Value Framework based on advised customer inputs, which is being used more broadly by various advice firms to support and evidence value. As well as making the case for standardised data, Kat also talked about using data to help identify behaviours that might be a precursor to poor outcomes, and through testing and learning they have been able to improve identification of vulnerable clients. And finally, Margo Jensen, Blackrock MD – Legal and Compliance, shared a legal take on the Duty, articulating some of the discrepancies between the more prescriptive Assessments of Value, and the more subjective Consumer Duty. Will the AoV and Consumer Duty coalesce over time?

Consumer Duty - The Sequel conference concluding remarksConsumer Duty - The Sequel conference concluding remarks

Finally, to our CEO and MD panel. Claude from JP Morgan saw a much closer collaboration in future between distributors and asset managers – not just on data but on product development and marketing, which could be just another factor driving consolidation. Steven from Quilter made the case for better description and articulation of the advice given, alongside the charges, to support better and more meaningful comparison and consideration for consumers. And Kevin Doran from AJ Bell summed up what many voice in private – did Consumer Duty become ‘All Consuming Duty’ and delay development of other initiatives which could actually deliver more benefit to consumers? Kevin’s more excited by the potential of regulated guidance – and how we can help the 12.2 million people Boring Money identify in the Advice Gap.

We hope you found these insights useful. Please do get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help your firm to understand your customers better, and to find the ‘signal’ amongst the noise, which not only supports Consumer Duty work, but also delivers better products and services for customers, giving you a competitive edge and keeping you sharp.

Here is a view of what is coming up at Boring Money Insights during 2023 and 2024:

Boring Money Insights releases calendarBoring Money Insights releases calendar

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