What is a Past Business Review?

Jan 24th '23

If your firm has identified potential mis-selling and is required to undertake a Past Business Review (PBR), you must have the necessary governance arrangements and skilled resources in place to ensure that the review is promptly undertaken to robust regulatory standards.


Remediation programmes have become a prevalent feature of a regulatory regime that has placed conduct issues at its core. Regulatory demands, public scrutiny, claims management companies and political pressures have ensured that remediation programmes will continue to occupy financial institutions for the foreseeable future.


Sales practices, incentive schemes, poor conduct and culture and poor governance arrangements have all contributed to significant levels of regulatory scrutiny for regulated firms. Consequently, actions to remediate the impact of legacy practice is likely to be an enduring challenge for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, this increases the expectation on firms to undertake appropriate early warning horizon scanning activity up front to ensure that material instances of bad practice and poor conduct are proactively identified and remediated in a timely manner.


The financial services industry has had to undertake a significant number of Past Business Reviews (PBR) and subsequent remediation exercises across a range of products, such as defined benefit pension transfers, split capital trusts and mortgage endowments. More specifically, recent reviews have concentrated on pension switching, interest rate hedging products, ensuring the fair treatment of customers in arrears, payday lending and one of the largest reviews ever, Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). The knock-on effect of this has seen remediation costs spiralling, with redress and operational costs amounting to billions of pounds. The latest projects involve Defined Benefit pension transfers (DB).


There are a number of ways in which a firm may become aware of widespread systemic FCA rule breaches, such as internal or external compliance reviews, a Skilled Person review, regulatory thematic work, internal breach reporting or complaints root cause analysis. Some of these systemic rule breaches may warrant a PBR to identify and robustly resolve any instances of customer detriment. Once identified, the FCA is likely to require a firm to undertake a wider remediation exercise to ensure any affected customers are treated fairly and receive the right outcome.


We have a three phase approach to the project and ensure everyone is qualified to review, assess and remediate cases appropriately.


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