On 27 July 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) published its Policy Statement with final rules and guidance introducing a new Consumer Duty (“the Duty”) - a significant initiative which imposes higher standards in the level of care provided to UK retail customers and increases the obligations of all financial services firms. The FCA is concerned that financial services do not always work well for UK retail consumers and the Duty has been designed to fundamentally shift the mindset of firms.
The Duty is a significant piece of regulation and applies to the whole financial services sector including sectors such as insurance and banking.
The Duty, which is effective from 31 July 2023, requires all firms involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of products to retail consumers to perform detailed and proactive monitoring of consumer outcomes throughout the product life-cycle.
Ninety One has conducted a full review to determine which products and services are within scope of the Duty. In scope products and services are those where Ninety One entities are part of the distribution chain to UK retail consumers and where we can determine or materially influence the outcome for those customers.
The following Ninety One funds are in scope of the Duty currently:
Further detail on the applicability of the Duty to the Ninety One funds is below.
The FCA expects that information will need to be shared across the manufacturing and distribution chain to allow firms to comply with the Duty. Where appropriate, Ninety One has issued notices to Distributors outlining the responsibilities of the parties in meeting the objectives of the Duty. All firms which offer, sell, recommend, advise on, arrange, deal, propose or provide an in scope fund which we manufacture, will be a ‘Distributor’ of our funds.
The FCA has made it clear that the definition of Distributor is deliberately broad and captures all firms in a distribution chain that ends in a retail customer. As such, IFAs and execution-only / nominee service providers are also ‘Distributors’ under the Duty definition.
When the Duty comes into effect, Distributors will need to provide us with information and documents in relation to the funds that we manufacture to fulfil both our and their obligations under the Duty.
The EMT is available through a range of data providers from which you may already receive data feeds relating to other information on the Ninety One Funds. The timing of this availability is dependent on the readiness of the specific data vendors. The latest EMT can also be found here.