Financial Conduct Authority
FCA to strengthen protection of access to banking services
Banks and building societies will need to assess the impact of changes to their services, for example shorter branch opening times, under updated guidance proposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA is also consulting on requirements for more detailed analysis on how firms assess the impact on customers when they plan to close a branch, remove or convert an ATM or reduce the services they provide.
The FCA has warned that some banks and building societies are not currently doing enough to properly understand the impact of these changes and to keep their customers informed. Extending communications to other groups such as local charities and councils to understand the wider impact from changes to services, is also included in the proposals.
The proposed update to the guidance is the latest step the FCA has taken to protect access to banking services, which includes accessing cash at branches. In 2020 initial guidance on branch closures and conversions was published in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the FCA continues to monitor cash access points and engage with firms on closure plans. Most recently the FCA published examples of good practice, and where improvements are needed, for firms considering closures.
The Government recently confirmed that the FCA will be given powers to make sure cash remains accessible.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said:
‘We expect firms to continue to offer easy and accessible banking services to their customers, and this is even more important as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis. We saw firms successfully do this and support consumers through the pandemic, and this standard needs to continue with firms really thinking about their customers, especially those in vulnerable circumstances, and ensuring they continue to meet their needs.’
Notes to editors
Latest News from
Financial Conduct Authority
FCA fines Sir Christopher Gent for disclosing inside information08/08/2022 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Sir Christopher Gent, former non-executive Chairman of ConvaTec Group Plc, £80,000 for unlawfully disclosing inside information.
We consult on changes to redress calculations for unsuitable pension transfer advice03/08/2022 16:20:00
We have published a consultation proposing updates to how redress is calculated for unsuitable defined benefit transfers advice, following a periodic review.
FCA issues an update on switching in the mortgage market03/08/2022 15:15:00
The FCA has released its latest statement on switching in the mortgages market.
FCA confirms new rules to improve oversight of Appointed Representatives03/08/2022 13:10:00
The FCA confirms new rules to make authorised financial firms more responsible for their appointed representatives (ARs).
FCA to open Leeds office in September with 100 new jobs02/08/2022 15:15:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be recruiting to fill more than 100 new roles based in Leeds.
FCA clamps down on marketing of high-risk investments to consumers02/08/2022 10:25:00
The FCA has finalised stronger rules to help tackle misleading adverts that encourage investing in high-risk products.
FCA regulation boosts consumer protection in the funeral plans market29/07/2022 14:10:00
From today, the FCA will regulate pre-paid funeral plans, following legislation passed by Parliament. The FCA is authorising 26 providers. Together these firms hold approximately 1.6 million plans, which make up 87% of the market.
FCA publishes Decision Notices for Carillion plc (in liquidation) and three of its former executive directors29/07/2022 10:25:00
The three individuals have referred their respective Decision Notices to the Upper Tribunal where they will each present their case. Any findings in the individuals’ Decision Notices are therefore provisional and reflect the FCA’s belief as to what occurred and how it considers their behaviour should be characterised.
The FCA’s Consumer Duty will lead to a major shift in financial services27/07/2022 13:15:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed its plans to bring in a new Consumer Duty, which will fundamentally improve how firms serve consumers. It will set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and require firms to put their customers’ needs first.