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Dear CEO/Director | Release Date: 3rd March 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 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has implemented the Consumer Duty to enhance consumer protection standards significantly within the Retail Finance sector. This directive emphasises an outcomes-based approach and raises the standard of care that firms must provide to their customers.

Implementation Timeline

The FCA has set a specific timeline for the implementation of the Consumer Duty:

Scope and Application

The Consumer Duty applies across the board to all retail finance products and services. It encompasses firms that influence customer outcomes directly or indirectly, ensuring that the Duty’s standards are uniformly applied throughout the sector.

Detailed Requirements

Outlined in the Finalised Guidance published in July, the Consumer Duty requires firms to:

Expectations for Integration

The FCA expects Retail Finance Providers to integrate the Consumer Duty thoroughly within their operational practices:

Feedback on Implementation Plans

From its reviews, the FCA has observed that many firms have adapted well to the framework, though some are still behind, which may pose risks of non-compliance by the deadline.

Key areas for attention include:

Supervisory Strategy and Next Steps

The Consumer Duty is integral to the FCA’s three-year strategic plan and is prioritised across all levels to continuously elevate consumer protection standards. The FCA’s supervisory approach will focus on ensuring compliance and fostering an environment where consumer outcomes are consistently improved across the Retail Finance sector.


The implementation of the Consumer Duty in the Retail Finance Providers portfolio is vital for enhancing consumer protection standards in response to the evolving economic challenges, including the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. By embracing strategic compliance and fostering a leadership-driven culture of consumer-centric practices, Retail Finance Providers are expected to play a pivotal role in enhancing consumer trust and achieving better financial outcomes across the marketplace.

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