The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute responds to the FCA’s announcement on Duty of Care

23 April 2019

Today the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed that they will not introduce a legal ‘Duty of Care’ for financial services firms to their customers. The FCA consulted on proposals for the duty in 2018, following calls from campaigning charities for the regulator to do more to protect vulnerable consumers, including people with mental health problems.

However, Andrew Bailey, the Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority accepted that more could be done to protect vulnerable people and stated that the regulator would consider changes to the principles that govern its work to increase protection for consumers. The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has been calling for changes to these principles, and today welcomed the move.

Commenting on these recommendations, Helen Undy, Chief Executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said:

People with mental health problems are three and a half times as likely to be in problem debt, and in part that’s because the financial services industry fails to adequately anticipate and meet their needs. People are penalised with higher costs if they’re too unwell to shop around, face higher charges when they struggle to make a telephone call to sort out issues on their account, or find themselves stuck with services that they don’t want or need. With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem each year, a market that doesn’t work for this group of people really doesn’t work at all.

With the FCA today ruling out introducing a Duty of Care, it’s all the more important that other action is taken. We are pleased that the regulator has listened to our suggestion that changes are needed to their principles to better protect vulnerable customers and we will be working to ensure that these changes happen. In particular, we’d like to see the principles better balance the tension between the regulator’s duty to promote competition and to protect vulnerable customers, ensuring that customers who are struggling do not end up paying more and subsidising better deals for more active consumers.




For all media enquiries, including interviews with spokespeople, please contact Helen Undy on 0207 848 1448 or [email protected]. (Call 07827 917829 outside of office hours).

Notes to Editors

About Money and Mental Health:

  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute was set up by Martin Lewis in spring 2016, registered charity number 1166493.
  • It conducts research and develops policies for essential services firms, regulators, the health service and government to help people with mental health problems protect themselves from financial difficulties and get out of debt.
  • Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is an award-winning campaigning broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He founded in 2003 for £100 and remains its full-time Editor-in-Chief. It is now the UK’s biggest money site, with more than 14 million monthly users. Martin has his own prime-time ITV programme – The Martin Lewis Money Show – and is resident expert on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Consumer Panel, among others.
  • Helen Undy is a passionate mental health campaigner and became the Institute’s Director in 2018, having previously led the Institute’s impact and communications work.