"It’s important the Consumer Duty is seen as an opportunity to accelerate change, as opposed to a barrier."
Over two-fifths (44%) of advisers expect the Consumer Duty to increase the focus on protection, research from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) shows.
With the FCA's Consumer Duty coming into force and advisers required to avoid causing foreseeable harm as part of delivering good consumer outcomes, only 2% think it will reduce the focus on protection, while 31% think there will be no change and a quarter (24%) said they don’t know.
AMI’s annual Protection Viewpoint Report – The Great Protection Shift - will be released on Thursday 3rd November with a virtual event held in partnership with Legal & General and Royal London, where they will share findings from the 2022 consumer and adviser research and give views on what it means for the industry.
Ahead of the report, AMI also reveals that more than third of advisers (37%) are not doing anything at present to help clients stay protected and keep existing protection policies in force as they navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
However, of those that are, 49% are conducting regular reviews with customers, 19% are reminding customers about product flexibility and/or payment deferral options, and 11% are writing to customers about their cover/additional benefits available.
Stacy Penn, senior policy adviser at the AMI, said: “We’re excited Viewpoint is back for a third year, shining a light on the views of consumers and advisers. ‘The Great Protection Shift’ encapsulates what we, as an industry, need to focus on if we are to propel the industry forward. It’s important the Consumer Duty is seen as an opportunity to accelerate change, as opposed to a barrier.
“This year, to supplement our consumer and adviser research, we carried out qualitative research involving a bespoke community of consumers to give extra depth to our findings. Once launched, we hope the report will provide invaluable insight that advisers and providers can use at a time when consumers need advice and solutions more than ever.”
Jeff Woods, head of intermediary development at Legal & General, commented: “Legal & General are pleased to be working with AMI for the third year, taking a closer look at perceptions and misconceptions, the importance of communication and how consumers want to buy protection. We know how useful the previous reports have been to both advisers and providers, and so look forward to working with all parties again to deliver on the key actions.”
David Ellis, head of strategic partnerships at Royal London, added: “Royal London is delighted to be part of the AMI Viewpoint Research again this year. It has become a seminal point in the trading year that draws us together as an industry to reflect on how we are doing to deliver the very best outcomes for mortgage and protection customers. Once again, “The Great Protection Shift” uncovers some interesting findings that we can all learn from.”