FCA publishes rules to better facilitate current account service quality comparisons

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates the conduct of financial services firms in the UK, has today set out new rules requiring banks to publish data on six aspects of their current account service quality. The FCA has also announced that the industry will look to coordinate the development of a voluntary industry agreement on releasing data relevant to the treatment of vulnerable customers.

The data banks will be required to publish include:

  • How and when services are available
  • contact details for help
  • How long it takes to open a current account
  • How long it takes to replace a debit card
  • The number of major operational or security incidents
  • The number of complaints received

The new rules follow on from the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into Retail Banking. That investigation found, among other things, that customers faced difficulties in comparing service quality across different providers. As part of its remedies package, the CMA requested that the FCA develop new standardised metrics for banks to publish that would aid transparency and comparability across the market.

Antti Lemberg, working in Frontier’s Financial Services team, said “Service quality is an important part of any bank’s offering to its customers, and it is critical that customers have meaningful non-price information when choosing a current account provider. The banking sector is fast-moving, and new regulation and innovation is set to bring considerable change to what banks offer and what customers want. As these metrics roll out, the FCA will need to ensure not only that they are useful for a diverse range of customers today, but also that as the market changes these metrics continue to capture aspects of quality that are relevant and meaningful to all customers.”

Frontier advises clients on a wide range of regulatory issues in financial services.

For more information, please contact media@frontier-economics.com or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000