Request a Demo Today

Dear CEO/Director | Release Date: 3rd February 2023

To read a shorter summary of this Dear CEO/Director letter, click here.

To access the original FCA document, click here.

Long Summary

The Consumer Duty represents a significant shift in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) expectations, emphasising an outcomes-focused approach to consumer protection with heightened standards of care. This communication is directed towards firms operating within Asset Management, Custody & Fund Services, and Alternatives portfolios, guiding them to effectively integrate and uphold the Duty.

Timeline for Duty Implementation

End of October 2022: Approval of implementation plans by boards or management bodies.

End of April 2023: Completion of necessary reviews by manufacturers to comply with outcome rules.

31 July 2023: Implementation deadline for new and currently available products or services.

31 July 2024: Extension of the Duty to include closed products or services.

Applicability to Your Sector

The Consumer Duty applies not only to direct interactions with retail customers but extends to any firm that significantly influences customer outcomes. This encompasses firms within the Asset Management, Custody & Fund Services, and Alternatives portfolios that are involved in any stage of the distribution chain impacting retail customers.

Core Requirements of the Duty

Outlined in our Finalised Guidance from July 2022, the Duty mandates firms to:

Act in good faith towards customers, avoiding foreseeable harm while supporting their financial objectives.

Design products and services that cater to the specific needs, characteristics, and objectives of their targeted market segments.

Ensure that the pricing and value of products and services maintain a fair balance relative to the benefits received by consumers.

Enhance consumer understanding through clear, effective communication that enables informed decisions.

Provide ongoing consumer support throughout the lifecycle of products or services.

Integration and Supervision Expectations

Firms are expected to deeply embed consumer interests into their operational and strategic frameworks. This integration is critical, as outlined in the feedback from our review of firms’ implementation plans conducted in January. Despite many firms adapting well, some remain behind, posing risks to timely and effective Duty implementation.

Focus Areas for Immediate Action

Effective Prioritisation: Firms should clearly understand and prioritise actions that significantly impact consumer outcomes.

Substantive Integration: The Duty’s requirements should be thoroughly understood and integrated beyond superficial compliance.

Collaborative Compliance: Effective implementation requires firms to coordinate and share information within the distribution chain.

Our Supervisory Approach

As a cornerstone of our strategic objectives through 2025, the Consumer Duty influences our supervisory priorities and methods. We are actively developing strategies tailored to Asset Management, Custody & Fund Services, and Alternatives portfolios, ensuring these sectors align with the Duty’s standards and effectively manage potential consumer harms.

Next Steps

Continued engagement with trade bodies and stakeholders is planned to assist firms during this transitional phase. Additionally, we are exploring ways to clarify the scope and specific obligations under the Duty, particularly around concepts like ‘material influence’ and operational interactions within distribution chains.


The successful implementation of the Consumer Duty is imperative for enhancing consumer protections and ensuring the sustainable growth of the financial services sector. Firms must take proactive steps to align their operations with the Duty’s requirements, ensuring that consumer interests are at the forefront of their business strategies. This will not only comply with regulatory expectations but also foster a more trustworthy, consumer-focused market environment.

For further details, firms are encouraged to consult the Finalised Guidance, review implementation feedback, and stay updated through our dedicated Consumer Duty webpages. For specific inquiries, firms should contact their designated supervisory teams or reach out via our provided contact details.

Back to the Dear CEO letter archives.