FCA is thinking about the ageing population

FCA is thinking about the ageing populationWe are all getting older and this is having a big impact on the financial decisions we make.

The number of people over age 65 in the UK is expected to rise by 1.1 million during the next five years alone.

At the same time, the proportion of people over 100 will rise by 40%.

Those aged 85 and over, often referred to as the ‘oldest old’ now represent the fastest growing segment of the UK population.

This theme of an ageing population is important within retail financial services and something our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, is thinking about carefully.

In the past few days the FCA has published an update on its work with regards to the ageing population.

The FCA aims to ensure that consumers have access to products and services that are well-governed and deliver value for money in competitive markets.

Because older consumers represent a growing proportion of the UK population, the FCA is keen to deepen its understanding of how financial services markets work for older consumers, and then make recommendations to improve outcomes for these cohorts.

To stimulate debate and get input from the financial services sector, the FCA published a Discussion Paper:

Ageing population and financial services

They are now using the responses to this discussion paper to prioritise a programme of work that looks specifically at the Ageing Population.

As a result, the FCA’s ageing population work plan is covering the following points:

-What happens as the mind ages, and what does this mean in terms of products, services and distribution?

-How can firms help consumers to better engage with products and services in retail banking?

-How can the FCA build on existing industry initiatives to facilitate mortgage lending to older consumers?

-Can older people and their families access regulated advice for long-term care?

-How can we work with our stakeholders to support those who require third-party access?

-Is there more to be done to help consumers navigate markets where upper age limits exist?

These are all important questions we need to consider carefully as the population continues to age.

In the summer next year we expect to see an FCA Strategy on the Ageing Population.

This strategy will make recommendations about how the FCA can improve outcomes for older people, including whether regulatory settings need further review.

We look forward to seeing how this FCA thinking about the ageing population develops over time.

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About Martin Bamford

Martin Bamford is a Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional and published personal finance author. He works with elderly clients to provide advice on funding residential care fees, hosts the Informed Choice Podcast and is a keen ultra runner.
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