Consumer Duty

At Raymond James, our Client First culture means we’ve always put the needs of our clients before everything else. That’s why the Consumer Duty regulatory framework, introduced by the FCA on 31 July 2023, resonates strongly with our core values.

What is the Consumer Duty?

The Consumer Duty is designed to ensure that firms deliver even higher standards of consumer protection. It introduces Principle 12, a new Consumer Principle that provides a high-level expectation of conduct and associated outcomes.

New cross-cutting rules set the overarching conduct which firms must demonstrate when they act to deliver good outcomes for retail customers:

The Consumer Duty builds on existing standards by introducing four specific outcomes, with the aim of providing better protection for clients by putting their needs first and by setting higher expectations for the standard of care they receive from financial services providers. These four specific outcomes represent the key elements between firms and their relationships with consumers:

  • Products and services
    Products and services are designed to meet the needs of consumers, and sold to those whose needs they meet
  • Price and value
    The price of products represents a fair value for retail customers in the target market for those products
  • Consumer understanding
    A firm must support retail customer understanding so that its communications:
    • meet the information needs of retail customers
    • are likely to be understood by retail customers
    • equip retail customers to make decisions that are effective, timely and properly informed
  • Consumer support
    A firm must design and deliver support to retail customers so:
    • it meets the needs of those customers (including vulnerable customers)
    • it ensures products can be used as anticipated
    • it includes appropriate friction in its customer journey to mitigate the risk of harm
    • retail customers do not face unreasonable barriers

Our approach to the Consumer Duty

Our Client First culture, and our business strategy of supporting clients and their wealth managers, are already well aligned with the Consumer Duty. However, the Consumer Duty regulation gives us an additional opportunity to ensure that we continue to:

Supporting vulnerable clients

We take our responsibility to do our best for all clients, including vulnerable clients, very seriously. That’s why we focus on understanding the factors behind vulnerability and the different stages of vulnerability – and in-line with the new regulation – we work to continuously enhance standards of care, while delivering the good outcomes that clients expect.

Delivering fair value in our products and services

We work to continuously ensure that our services are designed with clients firmly in mind and that our pricing structure is built with client value at the heart of all decisions. We are committed to offering suitable services that meet clients’ needs, are reasonably priced and are monitored over time to ensure they provide value. To support this commitment, we have created a fair value assessment that sets out how we approach fair value when it comes to the services provided by Raymond James wealth managers, within the framework of our target market.

Reinforcing our longstanding commitment to our clients

Considering the firm’s long-established culture of Client First, we believe that the Consumer Duty aligns with our vision to be a financial services firm as unique as the people we serve, transforming lives, businesses, and communities through the power of personal relationships and professional advice.

Going forward, we will continue to challenge ourselves to enhance and develop the services we provide our clients and ensure good outcomes for them.

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