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FCA: ‘A satisfied customer is not necessarily one that understands the product’

FCA: ‘A satisfied customer is not necessarily one that understands the product’

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has expressed concern that some firms are still not distinguishing between ‘customer understanding’ and ‘customer satisfaction’.

The regulator commissioned a survey of 17 retail banks and building societies to review how firms ensured their customers understood the products they had bought.

The survey was carried out in response to recommendations from the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards which wanted firms to demonstrate that they were fulfilling a duty of care to their customers whilst ensuring that customers had a reasonable opportunity to understand a transaction.
Although the FCA found that “in general firms demonstrated good practice”, it still had its doubts.  
“We are concerned that some firms may not effectively be distinguishing between customer understanding and customer satisfaction: a satisfied customer is not necessarily one that understands the product (despite guidance provided by firms),” said the FCA. 
“It is important that firms continue to check their customers’ understanding regularly and ensure that customers are considered during the end to end life cycle of a product. The FCA will continue to monitor this area and undertake further follow up work in due course. “
The regulator did, however, mention several cases where firms had met its requirements.
It found that all firms are using customer survey findings as the basis for producing better, future products and that some banks had adopted a more personal approach by conducting one-to-one calls with any complainants.  

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