Knowledge Bank launches Consumer Duty tool


Knowledge Bank has launched software to help lenders and brokers comply with upcoming Consumer Duty regulations.  

The criteria platform says the tool “will help with the early identification of borrower vulnerability and will highlight underserved areas within lending policy and the wider market.   

“This will save lenders hours of work and will demonstrate best practice and also provide evidence for the regulator.”  

The Financial Conduct Authority’s new Consumer Duty rules apply to all of the UK’s 60,000 regulated financial firms, including the mortgage industry’s roughly 100 lenders and 18,000 brokers and broker firms.  

The regulator says the aim of the wide-ranging guidance is to set out “higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services”.  

Firms have until July 2023 to make sure existing products comply with the new rules, and until July 2024 for closed products.  

Knowledge Bank chief executive Nicola Firth says: “One of the most challenging aspects of Consumer Duty is identifying instances of vulnerability as this is open to a certain degree of interpretation and is not confined to a particular group or type of borrower.  

“Any borrower could potentially fall into the category of being ‘vulnerable’ and this tool will help filter results and expose the transient nature of vulnerability due to life events.”  

The platform says as part of its current subscription, the areas of lending relevant to Consumer Duty will be identified to brokers alerting them to the fact that additional questions or care may be needed with a particular case.   

This will also be highlighted on the brokers ‘evidence of research’ document as a part of their compliance file.  

The firm says that lenders using its ‘insights’ tool will also be able to interrogate the data to see the frequency of searches in these categories and maintain a record of responses.   

Knowledge Bank’s Firth adds: “We have worked closely with our lender, network and mortgage club partners to really understand what tools they need to ensure that the new rules are made as easy as possible to navigate.  

“This early delivery also allows lenders especially to hit the end of April deadline to have in place what they need ready for July.” 

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