Every problem is an opportunity in disguise - By Eoin Lyons
Back in May 2016 I reflected on the FCA’s review of closed-book customers. In December they issued their finalised guidance on the matter (FG16/8). It sets out expectations around communication, especially at key policy moments, as well as drivers of performance and barriers to exit.
Firms must now have a strategy and governance framework which results in the fair treatment of closed-book customers. They must communicate in a way that enables customers to make informed decisions and gives all the options available. They must have robust processes in place to trace “gone-away” customers. They must ensure that on-going and exit costs are fairly apportioned and don’t deliver poor outcomes.
Looking backwards it is clear that some parts of the market were reluctant to “wake up” customers to underperforming products for fear of losing their business. Thankfully this is no longer the case and firms are more confident that good service and a strong brand will continue to create value for their customers.
When I’m speaking to our clients and the wider market I am confident that this guidance is being adopted. It is our job to try and find effective solutions for our clients’ closed-books that are cost efficient and deliver additional value. Putting the customer at the centre of the process and adopting a partially or fully digital customer journey can deliver better the expected outcomes.
Former US President John Adams is reputed to have said “every problem is an opportunity in disguise”. Delivering a flexible digital customer journey which is engaging, provides reliable and timely information, can also be cost effective.