Quantitive research undertaken by the FSA to identify key consumer concerns has highlighted nine major areas. Consumers are reliant on the financial industry to provide them with a range of vital services – and conduct risk management plays a central role in assuring consumers get a fair deal.
Quantitive research undertaken by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to identify key consumer concerns has highlighted nine major areas. In the most recent Retail Conduct Risk Outlook, the FSA listed the following areas of concern as being primary sources of discontent from consumers:
- Pressure selling
- Lack of ongoing service, focus on single transactions and new customers
- Poor complaints handling
- Ineffective time management (resolving issues, making transfers)
- Difficulties in switching, cancelling or altering instructions
- Failures in systems/human error and poor infrastructure
- Complexity and volume of communications
- Excessive or unfair charges
- Changing terms and conditions
These concerns are perceived as being paramount to the erosion of trust between consumers and their financial service providers.
The implementation of a cohesive conduct risk strategy is paramount for firms who’re intent on providing excellent customer satisfaction.
Firms who take a proactive approach to managing these risk areas are expected to gain a significant competitive edge over those who do little to combat their customers concerns.
Like in any risk assessment, the strategy for identifying hazards, recording findings, and suggesting changes are best practices for those engaged with conduct risk management. This requires a high level of experience with and knowledge of corporate governance, product familiarity and the changing landscape of financial policy.
The FSA continues to stress the importance for firms to make conduct risk management a top priority, with Managing Director Martin Wheatley saying:
“The financial services industry must ensure it achieves a fair deal for consumers. They are reliant on the industry to provide them with a range of vital services. So the way firms are structured, how they operate, the products they develop and how they are sold, must all be aligned with their customers’ needs.”