Golden Oak Wealth Management are proud to have joined the Consumer Duty Alliance.

The Consumer Duty, introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), came into force on 31 July 2023 and is centered around setting higher and clearer standards of consumer protection in financial services.

The Duty means that you should get:

  • the support you need, when you need it;
  • communication that you understand;
  • products and services that meet your needs and offer fair value.

The Alliance has been set up in turn as a not-for-profit, independent membership body that aims to support the personal finance sector in the adoption and implementation of the FCA’s Consumer Duty requirements, through the alliance of like-minded individuals and firms.

The Consumer Duty Alliance also incorporates the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce and the adoption of the Financial Vulnerability Charter. This is a separate body, whose ultimate purpose is to promote greater UNDERSTANDING, encourage appropriate BEHAVIOURS and establish GOOD PRACTICE in respect of consumer vulnerability.

It too acts as an informed source of positive influence on policy makers, professionals and the general public alike. We hope that professionals working across the personal finance sector are increasingly seen as a ‘safe pair of hands’, especially by those who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

Why the Consumer Duty Alliance is needed

A body such as the Alliance is needed to coordinate, share and promote understanding and good Consumer Duty practice for the benefit of the wider market. It is also ideally placed to work for the sector with regulator and other groups.

The Alliance’s mission is to inspire and increase public confidence and trust in the financial advice and planning sector through the delivery of consistently good consumer outcomes, so consumers view Alliance members and the wider sector alongside other professional services as a ‘safe pair of hands’.

As an Associate of the Consumer Duty Alliance, our firm shall, always:

  1. Act in good faith in all dealings with clients.
  2. Always avoid causing foreseeable harm to clients.
  3. Inform, empower and support clients to pursue their financial needs, objectives and aspirations.
  4. Fully disclose, clearly explain and consciously mitigate any conflicts of interest identified in our dealings with clients, including where commercial interests might conflict with a client’s best interests.
  5. Only offer products or services that are both suitable and needed, offering fair value and transparent pricing.
  6. Ensure clients receive the support they need, when they need it.
  7. Embrace a focus on customer vulnerability including adherence to the Consumer Charter of the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce.

You can find out more about the Consumer Duty Alliance here.

What to expect from firms and advisers who commit to the Financial Vulnerability Charter

We can all find ourselves in vulnerable circumstances at some time in our lives; through unexpected events such as illness, loss of employment, divorce or even the sudden acquisition of wealth through inheritance or a lottery win.

You can be confident when dealing with a firm or adviser who has made a commitment to the Charter that they will use their best endeavours to provide you with a service that recognises your unique circumstances, and delivers the same outcomes that you would expect if you were not in vulnerable circumstances.

Firms and advisers who adopt the Charter agree to abide by nine statements, which are outlined below.

You can find out more about the Financial Vulnerability Charter here.