In July 2023, our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, launched a new set of rules called Consumer Duty.
The rules have been put in place to raise standards and trust in financial services, and to improve outcomes for consumers. The idea is that financial services providers, including credit unions, must always act in good faith to customers (in our case members) and avoid any foreseeable harm caused by using our services. The aim is to support people in pursuing their financial objectives.
Wirral Credit Union is expected to have the interests of members at heart and treat them fairly. We must strive to deliver good outcomes for our members.
The new Consumer Principle states that “A Firm must act to deliver good outcomes for its retail clients” This can be broken down as follows:
Wirral Credit Union is committed to providing an appropriate level of service and access to products that deliver good outcomes for members.
Products and Services
All members have access to appropriate products and services, and individual applications will be assessed to ensure that a product will not be offered that would be knowingly detrimental to the member.
Price and Value
Members will have access to products that compare favourably with alternative, like for like products and services.
Wirral Credit Union will use various means to educate its members on all aspects of borrowing, consequences of arrears and the general management of money.
Our products and services will be communicated to members’ on a timely basis. The information provided will enable them to make informed decisions. These communications will be relevant, accurate, transparent and fair, will not be misleading, and will fully disclose all costs and fees involved. This includes information about our Complaints Policy and Procedure.
Staff will be trained to recognise signs of financial vulnerability and members will be provided with timely and appropriate information and support according to their circumstance.
We will provide a level of support that meets members’ needs throughout their relationship with us. We will not disadvantage members’, including those in vulnerable circumstances; ensure that members’ can use products as reasonably anticipated; and ensure that members’ do not face unreasonable barriers when pursuing their financial objectives. In addition we will signpost members’ as appropriate to relevant organisations including debt help organisations.
Credit Unions are already legally obliged to ‘create sources of credit for the benefit of members’ at a fair and reasonable rate of interest’, as well as ‘the training and education of members’ in the wise use of money and in the management of their financial affairs’.
In other words, a large part of the consumer duty is already built into the DNA of a credit union.
Further information regarding the Consumer Duty can be found here: