Axa rejects claim FCA’s Consumer Duty could hurt City’s finance sector
The head of Axa’s UK & Ireland division has pushed back against claims the Financial Conduct Authority’s new Consumer Duty could hinder the City’s competitiveness.
Claudio Gienal, chief executive of AXA UK and Ireland, told City A.M. he “supports” the FCA’s new customer-focused mandate.
Gienal also said he doesn’t “see an issue with competitiveness” around the flagship reforms, which aim to ensure financial services firms produce “good outcomes” for their customers and prevent them from being exploited.
His comments came in response to City minister Andrew Griffith, who has hit out at the FCA’s plans arguing the Consumer Duty could hinder the financial sector’s growth.
Gienal cautioned, however, that while firms should already be prepared for the new rules, the watchdog should make sure insurers have “time to breathe” after having to deal with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
But he said he has “faith the FCA will find the right balance” when bringing its Consumer Duty into force.
His comments follow the news that the FCA has already begun contacting insurers to ensure they are ready for the Consumer Duty when it comes into force this summer.
The City watchdog confirmed to City A.M. it has already begun “checking that firms are handling claims promptly and fairly” before the Consumer Duty comes into force in July.