The implication of Consumer Duty, attracting new business on social media and business volumes were the top three most discussed topics on the Cherry broker forum.
According to Cherry, which attracted more than 35,000 unique visitors so far this year, some of the most popular threads prior to the Consumer Duty’s implementation deadline on 31 July were for brokers expressing fears and frustration with the new regime.
The differing interpretations of the FCA’s requirements were also a key thread from brokers, such as whether documentation that brokers gave to customers would need to change and how vulnerability should be treated.
Some brokers said that they were concerned around “unintended consequences” of FCA views around vulnerability and how the broker community could potentially avoid those classed as vulnerable due to fear of falling on the wrong side of the new regulatory regime.
Some threads said that the FCA was taking action against providers who were falling on the wrong side of requirements, and Consumer Duty is set to remain a popular topic in 2024.
Getting linked in on LinkedIn
Another popular topic was attracting new business on LinkedIn along with debates on using social media for business development purposes.
Some appointed representatives (AR) expressed annoyance at not being allowed to write social media posts with approval from compliance department with the wait time pegged at two to three days.
Debate about TikTok and its validity as a new business channel was also discussed.
Brokers also talked about business volumes with the cost of living crisis, inflation, interest rates and pressures on mortgage affordability leading to business volumes dropping year-on-year.
Threads suggested that brokers were optimistic about business levels for next year.
Donna Hopton, director at Cherry, said: “More and more intermediaries have chosen to use the cherry forum throughout 2023, with visitor numbers up six per cent year-on-year and total visits up by 2.5 per cent.
“More importantly, users are becoming more involved, with the number of new threads created nearly 11 per cent higher this year than in 2022.”
She added: “Users consider the cherry forum to be a safe space where they can discuss topics with their industry colleagues. With 2024 set to be a critical year for brokers looking to increase business volumes, I’m confident the forum will continue to grow accordingly.”
Anna is a reporter for Mortgage Solutions and assistant editor for Specialist Lending Solutions, both B2B sister titles of YourMoney.com. She has worked as a journalist for over four years, initially in the specialty insurance sector before moving onto mortgages.