Scaling a Customer-First Culture: Why AI is Key to the FCA Consumer Duty in contact centres.

FCA contact centre mandate July 2023

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Consumer Duty regulation comes into effect in the UK on 31st July 2023. The purpose of this regulation is to strengthen consumer protection by elevating the standards of conduct for firms operating in the financial sector. This duty encourages firms to place consumers at the heart of their business and deliver good outcomes.

FCA regulated firms will need to demonstrate how they comply with and meet the Consumer Duty principles. While the regulation does not specify how firms should achieve this, using artificial intelligence and analytics to monitor customer interactions can help provide assurance and evidence of good practice.

Generative AI to Analyse Phone Calls and Emails

Generative AI uses unsupervised learning to find patterns in large datasets, such as call recordings, chat logs and emails. The AI reviews all customer interactions to detect topics of discussion, expressions of sentiment, compliance issues and more. Any interactions that fall outside expected parameters are flagged for review.

For example, the AI may detect an unusually high number of complaints about a particular product or process. The firm can then investigate the root cause and make improvements. They can also retrain their customer service staff. Catching issues early and taking corrective action helps firms provide good outcomes for consumers and meet the Consumer Duty.

Similarly, the AI may detect an advisor repeatedly failing to explain fees, charges or contractual terms in full before a customer agrees to a product or service. The firm should re-train that advisor to strengthen their compliance knowledge and skills. Failing to clearly communicate key details is unfair to consumers and breaches the transparency principle of the Consumer Duty.

AI powered analytics provides an objective view of how well firms are achieving good customer outcomes. By continually monitoring performance, detecting non-compliance early and enabling data-driven enhancements, generative AI helps firms uphold the Consumer Duty standards.

Language Models to Analyse Written Communication

Large language models (LLMs) can analyse transcripts of emails, web chats, messages and social media posts between firms and their customers. The AI reviews the language, wording and structure used to detect compassion, clarity and compliance issues. For example, the model may detect vague, misleading or "salesy" language which fails to properly inform consumers or places undue influence.

The AI can also check if communications contain all the information consumers need to make informed decisions, such as fees, charges, risks and the customer's right to cancel. If key details are missing, the firm should revisit their communication templates and staff training.

LLMs provide an automated way to audit written communication and confirm good customer outcomes are being achieved. Firms can regularly assess performance, make data-led improvements and ensure communications meet the clarity and transparency principles of the Consumer Duty.

Conversational Intelligence to Enhance Call Quality Monitoring

Conversational intelligence uses speech recognition and natural language processing to analyse call recordings. The AI converts speech into text and then evaluates the content to detect active listening, empathy, compliance issues and more.

For example, the AI may detect an advisor failed to proactively disclose additional fees for an upgraded service or did not gain the customer's informed consent before processing a transaction. The firm can then retrain the advisor to strengthen their compliance knowledge.

The AI may also detect an advisor interrupting the customer or not fully answering their questions. Firms can coach advisors to improve their active listening and empathy skills. Enhancing staff capabilities leads to better customer experience and outcomes which meet the Consumer Duty principle of care, skill and due diligence.

Unlike random call sampling, conversational intelligence can analyse entire call datasets to provide a holistic view of call quality. Firms gain actionable insights into how well advisors understand regulations, build rapport, handle complaints and achieve good customer outcomes. Continually monitoring performance at scale enables data-led call quality improvements to meet Consumer Duty standards.

Generative AI should be the essential FCA contact centre component

Generative AI will be a critical component of future contact centres. As interactions increase in volume and complexity, AI is necessary to gain a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of performance and outcome delivery. Unlike limited human review of calls and correspondence, generative AI can analyse entire contact datasets to detect patterns, evaluate quality, assess compliance and surface key insights. This holistic view provides an objective feedback loop for continuous enhancement.

Using unsupervised learning, AI will discern trends human evaluators may miss. AI can then prescribe tailored recommendations to advance customer experience, operational efficiency, compliance standards and key metrics. While AI will not replace human contact centre staff, it will amplify their capabilities by reducing repetitive tasks, providing real-time guidance and enabling data-led growth. Overall, generative AI transforms reactive contact centres into proactive, insight-driven organisations that predict and address issues before they arise. This evolution is necessary to achieve progressive outcomes in a customer-first, data-driven world. For contact centres, AI is the path to next-level excellence.

Generative AI offers an automated, scalable way for contact centres to achieve and assure high standards of accountability, care and compliance. As regulations like the FCA Consumer Duty raise the bar, AI will be essential to operationalise, monitor and advance these principles at the pace and scale of modern business. By placing AI at the core of operations, contact centres can deliver progressive support for evolving customer needs and gain a sustained competitive advantage.


In summary, generative AI, large language models and conversational intelligence are innovative tools firms can use to analyse customer interactions at scale. Auditing performance across channels provides objective feedback on conduct practices and outcome delivery. Firms can detect non-compliance early, retrain staff, update processes and make data-led improvements to uphold the FCA Consumer Duty principles. New technologies which enhance monitoring, surface actionable insights and enable progressive advancement will be crucial to achieving an elevated standard of care for financial consumers. Overall, AI-powered analytics helps firms place customers at the heart of their operations and assure good outcomes are being delivered.

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