Consumer Duty: Nearly half of Britons say banks aren't doing enough to prevent harm
March 30th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Consumer Duty: Nearly half of Britons say banks aren't doing enough to prevent harm

The FCA’s Consumer Duty Principle will be implemented in July 2023, and promises to be one of the most significant shakeups the financial sector has seen in recent years. The principle will require firms to deliver good outcomes for retail customers in terms of support, understanding, value for money, and products and services.

So how much work needs to be done to meet the FCA’s new standards? We asked Britons how they thought banks were doing across several areas covered by the Consumer Duty Principle. Here’s what we found out.

Half of consumers think banks don’t give them enough information to make informed decisions

The Consumer Duty rules indicate that firms should equip customers with “the right information to make effective, timely, and properly informed decisions.” This is one of a few outcomes where banks are perceived to be falling short.

Half of consumers think the information they provide is difficult to understand, while two in five say the opposite (49%). And when Britons are asked how often banks have given them the detail they need to make informed financial decisions, half (48%) say they have rarely or never done so – with just a third saying they have always or often done so (33%).

By 47% to 37%, consumers think banks do a poor job of communicating risk

Consumer Duty includes an expectation that firms will “take proactive and reactive steps to avoid causing harm to customers through their conduct, products, or services where it is in their control to do so.”

But our data suggests that nearly half of consumers think banks are doing a bad job of communicating risk (47%), while just two in five say they are doing a good job (37%). Asked if banks are doing enough to prevent harm, two in five agree that they are (40%) – but again, nearly half say the opposite (47%).

Do banks offer good value for money?
Consumer Duty stipulates that the public should pay a price for products and services that represents “fair value”, with poor value products and services being removed from markets.

Overall, 36% think banks are currently providing good value for money, with 43% saying the value on offer across the sector is generally poor.

Most consumers think banks offer good service

Another Consumer Duty metric is customer service, with a view to firms reducing “upheld complaints about switching, cancellation, and service levels, and customers having high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive.”

Here we have some better news for banks. Three in five consumers say the quality of service provided by their bank is of a good standard (60%), while just a quarter (27%) say it has fallen short.

Getting more specific, consumers are generally more likely to say their banks have made life easy for them from a customer service perspective than not. By 39% to 15%, the public say it has been easy to switch providers (with 42% never switching at all).

It’s a similar story with switching products and services: Britons are twice as likely to say banks have made it easy to do things like change to a different mortgage or savings account or provider (40% vs. 20%, with 34% never doing this in the first place).

Things are a bit less positive when it comes to the complaints and claims process. Overall, 21% say banks have made it easy to register a grievance, but 23% say they have made it difficult – while 18% say it has been easy to make a claim and 20% say the opposite. In both cases, at least half haven’t had to either complain or claim in the first place.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.  


YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 16-17 March 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, social grade and education to be representative of all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older), and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 

Image: Pexels