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RCI – Retail Consumer Interests Study

RiF created the Retail Consumer Interests Study (RCI) in 2013 alongside a group of leading global asset management firms.

Created in direct response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) implementation of its Retail Distribution Review, the study is designed to provide asset managers with a deeper understanding of end consumer motivation when investing. Eleven years on this study has continually evolved to meet the needs of asset managers and continues to support any new FCA requirements, most recently UK Consumer Duty, which requires that asset managers “act to deliver good outcomes for retail customers”.

The research offers a unique and valuable insight into private investing, such as the motivation of the self-directed investor, product selection process, private investor expertise and client satisfaction.

RCI consists of four phases throughout the year:

Phase 1. A quantitative study of over 1,700 private investors identifying their characteristics, investment purchase motivations, following their customer journey, information sources preferences, channel preferences and risk appetite – all correlated to the four outcomes of the FCA’s new Consumer Duty

Phase 2. A two-week online community including qualitative marcomms testing among a diverse group of Private Investors, including representation of those displaying vulnerability characteristics outlined by the FCA in terms of resilience, capability, life events or health. The community participants (30 online and 5 in-depth interviews with those less tech friendly) will also include a mix of those who consider themselves sophisticated in terms of investment experience and knowledge as well as those less so.

Phases 3 & 4. As with 2023, will remain flexible and will be determined based on collective opinion after the completion of the community, allowing for continued exploration of topics or challenges faced by the syndicate members. This flexibility ensures that the study meets the syndicate members’ needs as they continue to develop with respect to ongoing commitments to Consumer Duty. For 2023, these flexible phases will provide insight into how Advisers engage with and implement Consumer Duty, and a deep dive across both Private Investors and Intermediaries on their awareness of, interpretation of and challenges faced when considering ESG/sustainable investing.

The study also offers access to our unique syndicate working group, allowing members the opportunity to meet with and discuss challenges with peers in a Chatham House environment.

Interrogation of this information is crucial to ensure that current investment products and any future products address both the needs of the customer and meet consumer expectations. The focus of FCA to place the emphasis of transparency and culpability with the suppliers has meant that there is increasing demand for asset managers to ensure and evidence that they are meeting these regulatory requirements.

For more information on this study please contact Mick Hrabe.