FCA and ICO confirm expectations for communications to savings customers

FCA and ICO have published a joint letter to UK Finance and the Building Societies Association, confirming that savings providers can inform their customers of the best interest rates available to them, even where customers have objected to direct marketing.

The letter comes after some firms queried whether data protection regulations prevent them from informing customers about better deals. FCA and ICO confirm that firms can provide regulatory communications to all savings customers that provide neutral, factual information about the interest rate and terms of the savings product they hold, the interest rate and terms of other available savings products, and what their options are for switching to another product. There are also other approaches available which could be adopted to support effective decision making by customers, such as displaying the regulatory communication on their websites.

While data protection law does provide people with a right to object to direct marketing, this does not prohibit firms from providing communications to customers when requested or required by a statutory regulator, such as under FCA’s Consumer Duty. This is the case even where customers have ‘opted out’ of direct marketing.

Now this has been clarified, FCA expects firms to highlight the best possible savings deals to customers. It is expected to report its updated view of how well the cash savings market is supporting customers at the end of July.

Laura Wiles