The FCA says financial services firms must do more to ensure that consumers can access the financial products and services they need at every stage of their life.
The regulator said that insights from stakeholders revealed that products and services designed for a ‘typical’ consumer are not flexible enough to capture individual situations.
In a discussion paper, the FCA said that changing demographics and trends in health and society mean that developing more inclusive financial products and services is increasingly important. The FCA is conversing with firms, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to determine how the regulator and industry can work together to address how older consumers engage with financial services.
The FCA also announced plans to launch a regulatory strategy in 2017 that promotes better outcomes for older consumers.
Tracey McDermott, acting chief executive of the FCA, said:
“The number of people aged over 65 in the UK is expected to increase by 1.1 million in the next five years. There is a real and urgent challenge for the financial services sector to develop new and innovative products to meet the needs of our changing population.
“The publication of this discussion paper is intended to stimulate debate and discussion about these needs and how to meet them. Ultimately, the industry must take the lead but we recognise that the FCA has a key part to play in ensuring we encourage appropriate innovation that also provides proper levels of protection for consumers. This work will help us and the industry to develop our approach with the benefit of insights from others, in particular those representing the end consumers of these services.”