FCA announces ban on opt-out selling across financial services

FCA announces ban on opt-out selling across financial services

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today published a policy statement setting out rules to ban ‘opt-out selling’ – defaulting customers into add-on products. This is designed to improve competition in the market for add-on sales and prevent the “exploitation of customer biases”. The ban will apply across all financial services sectors, and will be in force from 1 April 2016.

The ban on opt-out selling forms one element of the continuing FCA activity in the General Insurance add-ons market. An earlier consultation as part of the FCA’s study of this market concluded last March that competition in add-on markets was not effective and was not working in the best interests of customers. The FCA are also finalising Handbook and non-Handbook guidance to improve the information provided to add-on buyers, designed to encourage more informed and active decision-making by customers. Rules to address identified issues in the Guaranteed Asset Protection Insurance (GAP) market were previously finalised in June 2015, when a discussion paper was also published on introducing potential value measures for general insurance markets.

Frontier (Europe) provides a behavioural economics training programme for financial services firms, and advises on the implementation of behavioural economics by regulators.

For more information, please contact Goran Serdarevic on g.serdarevic@frontier-economics.com, or call+44 (0)20 7031 7000.


General Insurance Add-Ons Market Study-Remedies: banning opt-out selling across financial services and supporting informed decision-making for add-on buyers