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FCA calls on firms to design products for older consumers

Elderly-People-Paperwork-Old-Pension-Pensioners-700x450.jpgThe FCA is calling on firms to design more products that are tailored to older consumers.

In a speech yesterday, FCA life insurance and financial advice director Linda Woodall said that as the population ages, it was increasingly important that the elderly received support when they engaged with financial services, including when thinking about retirement.

Launching a paper from the regulator on the consequences of the ageing population on financial services, Woodall said there was “a risk” the needs of older consumers are not being fully met, which could potentially result in financial exclusion and harm

Woodall said: “Almost all of you know an older person who might be finding that certain aspects of their lives have become just a little more complicated with age – including the use of financial services and products.

“We found that there’s scope for firms to do more to support older consumers – from how products are designed, to the way consumers engage with their financial products and services and how they are supported when they do so.

“We’re asking firms to think about how they support older consumers, especially as their needs change over time.

“In particular – are there new products they could develop to fill gaps in the market? How could firms help customers recognise when they’re having difficulties, and encourage them to ask for help? A firm might be a key port of call when someone is contemplating retirement, suffering a bereavement, or working out how to fund residential care. What role do firms play in helping individuals make sense of their financial situation, explaining the technicalities, and helping them feel more in control of their finances?”

Woodall says that the regulator expects to review how the financial services industry is serving older consumers in three to five years’ time.

The FCA has also previously questioned the amount of product innovation in the retirement space as part of its work on pension freedoms.

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Use the same products, but just scrunch the paper a little so that it looks wrinkly.

  2. Hahahahaha and ha !!!

    Coming from one of the FSA old guard, this is a bit rich !
    Perhaps you need to look inwards, there you will find regulation has stiffed, any real innovation in product design for years (apart from the scammers and ponzi scheme operators)also regulation has made advice so expensive the poor old retirees of this country (vast majority anyway) cant afford to pay for it.

    Mind you when you have spent a lot of your working life blaming other people for your own failures why change the habit of a life time…….

  3. Nicholas Pleasure 17th October 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Quite right DH. The silly anti-money laundering rules make doing anything for older people difficult. Then there’s stuff about vulnerable clients too. Maybe as an adviser it’s best just to stay well away from this area. Much too risky.

  4. Provide a certain regulatory landscape and provision will develop – particularly where there is a gap to fill and consumers are ‘nudged’ accordingly.

    Currently, there is a clear gulf between the needs of the elderly facing the risk of long term care costs and the ability to plan for funding.

    Long term care needs wide sweeping (arguably radical) reform – who has the kahunas to deal with it?

    The pension landscape has recently had such radical reform and there’s already political pressure to revisit it.

    Round and round we go.

  5. This is curious on a couple of levels. Perhaps the FCA should ask why an obvious market gap is not being filled already – clues have already been provided by commentators above.

    Secondly, market exclusion is not an issue for firms. It is a matter for politicians and regulators. They creating the framework within which firms operate. If that framework ‘nudges’ advisers away from markets then they need to fix it, not suggest there is scope for firms to do more like it’s their problem. When the risk of catching small fish is the same as catching large fish, small fish aren’t very interesting to the fishermen.

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