Changing demographics and trends in health and society mean that developing more inclusive financial products and services is increasingly important the FCA argues. Their Ageing Population Discussion Paper is an important first step in their conversation with firms, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to determine how the regulator and industry can collaborate to address the range of issues facing older consumers, when they engage with financial services.

Tracey McDermott, acting chief executive of the FCA, commented:

“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.”

Next steps

The FCA is working with stakeholders, including industry, trade bodies, consumer groups, and the public sector to discuss experiences, best practice and potential approaches to the issues raised in this discussion paper. Further research will be undertaken by the FCA to develop a regulatory strategy that promotes better outcomes for older consumers. The strategy will be launched in 2017.

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