Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19): Expectations on Regulated Entities
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is aware of the impact of the COVID-19 on financial institutions and their customers. The uncertainty that this pandemic is creating exposes the sector to additional conduct risk, and the risk that financial institutions will not treat their customers fairly. The uncertainty and market volatility is likely also to shape customer behavior, and may lead to poor decision-making that leaves South Africans financially vulnerable.
The FSCA wishes to emphasise that regulated entities should bear in mind the current circumstances and assist their customers with even more empathy, flexibility and understanding during these difficult times. This may include considering relief and support options, especially for vulnerable customers. Entities must ensure that all customers are treated fairly during the entire product cycle, from advertising, to sales, to claims, to renewals and complaints. Profiteering off those that are vulnerable and suffering will not be tolerated.
The FSCA has also been communicating with regulated entities regarding the extension of regulatory submissions, adverts, communication to customers and some aspects of the business continuity plans they have in place, as far as they relate to the current COVID-19 crisis.
The document outlines the main expectations of the FSCA regarding the culture and main responsibilities of financial institutions during this crisis.