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FairLife and Consumer Duty

The FairLife Charity supports compliance with the FCA's Consumer Duty now and into the future.

Displaying the FairLife Mark is a simple way your organisation can demonstrate its commitment to Consumer Duty.

This section is for finance industry firms.

FairLife For Finance Firms

The FairLife Charity can help you deliver Consumer Duty faster and with better outcomes:

  • "FairLife is one of the best ways to good outcomes" Eric Leenders (MD, UK Finance) 

  • “The FairLife Charity is using joint purpose to help customers and I am delighted to see so many building societies supporting the Fairlife Mark.” Robin Fieth (CEO, BSA)

  • “TISA fully supports this initiative and would be delighted to see member firms engaging with the FairLife Mark.” Carol Knight (CEO, TISA)

Consumer Duty background and FairLife’s strength

By focusing on outcomes, the Consumer Duty is moving away from checklist compliance. This leads to several problems in designing and maintaining a compliant approach. In essence the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is asking you to be on the right side of a line in the sand, without drawing the line, and everyone has different ideas. “As firms set about complying with Consumer Duty, there is clear evidence of divergence risk” Robin Fieth, CEO, The BSA. FairLife’s solution is to collaborate with other firms. Pooling your ideas and working with joint purpose is a route to covering more ground faster and to ensuring that your approach is in line with your peer group. The latter being particularly useful should you be required to defend your position. “There can be wide scope for interpreting a regulator’s requirements within the scope of the Consumer Duty” Eric Leenders, UK Finance. The FairLife Charity specialises in leveraging joint purpose to solve problems and has been working to ensure that finance firms are treating customers fairly for several years. Its approach has been designed by industry for industry with input from trade and member bodies including UK Finance, the BSA, TISA and ABCUL.

How FairLife Complements the regulator:

FairLife complements the FCA’s rules, with the pros and cons of each off-setting. The combination is stronger. Together they minimise weaknesses in the Consumer Duty and maximise the outcomes. 

Regulators' Challenges

  • Highlights poor practice

Reinforces negative views

  • Can be expensive and slow, with  low proportionality

  • Regulated areas only

  • Low public engagement

Raises standards but not confidence

  • Customers will never understand consumer duty.

FairLife's strengths

  • Highlights decent companies

Champions the best of finance

  • Low cost, agile and targeted

  • Active in unregulated areas

  • A public trademark of trust

Boosts consumer confidence

  • Customers will recognise and  understand the FairLife Mark.

Benefits of Implementing Consumer Duty with the FairLife Charity


“FairLife has an important role to play” Jackie Bennett OBE (Snr. Adviser, UK Finance)

“FairLife can be the badge consumers recognise” Robin Fieth (CEO, BSA)

For those now implementing Consumer Duty, the FairLife Charity offers:

An independent framework

  • FairLife offers a framework that supports evidencing compliance with consumer duty and benefits from independent oversight and peer agreement.

  • The FairLife framework has been designed with input from companies and trade bodies to complement the FCA’s rules.

  • FairLife’s approach is based on firms being ‘fair and reasonable’. This forms a bridge between the FCA’s rules and the Financial Ombudsman that will help to reduce malpractice investigations.

Practical guidelines

  • For each product FairLife offers practical, peer-agreed guidelines aimed at meeting the requirements of Consumer Duty.

  • These guidelines span both areas to consider and specific recommendations.

  • Areas to consider cover: target market; negative target market; edge cases and more.

  • Specific recommendations are those considered generic to fair practice. They form the basis of displaying the fair-trading mark. 

Confidence and reassurance

  • “There can be wide scope for interpreting a regulator’s rules, some of which may not offer protection from the FOS”. Eric Leenders, (MD, UK Finance).

  • “As Firms set about complying with Consumer Duty, there is clear evidence of divergence risk”. Robin Fieth, (CEO,BSA)

  • FairLife uses joint purpose to interpret the regulator’s rules and to draw-up standards of decent practice that meet them.

  • FairLife’s standards offer confidence and reassurance by combining peer-agreement with an independent oversight linked to other stakeholders.

Customer recognition and satisfaction

  • “FairLife can be the badge consumers recognise… as most have probably never heard of Consumer Duty”. Robin Fieth (CEO, The BSA)

  • The FairLife mark of trust will be recognised across the industry, from websites and posters to product-level literature and contracts.

  • Belief that your organisation acts in good faith offers a big uplift in customer satisfaction, but customers must engage to believe. The FairLife Mark is a way to trigger that engagement.

  • Over time FairLife will help customers to choose what they want faster and with more confidence, further boosting trust and customer satisfaction.

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