Smart, L.Full disclosure: A round-up of FCA experimental research into giving information

Recommended reading

Laura Smart

Release date:
November 2016

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Occasional Paper 23

The FCA has been at the forefront of the use of behavioral science and experiments to inform regulation. Since the first field trial on customer compensation in 2013, the results of experimental research in a number of consumer markets were published, including savings accounts, structured savings products, and car and home insurance. This round-up paper presents eight further experiments, comprising five field trials and three online experiments, which test the effect of interventions that draw on behavioral theory, such as increasing salience or personalization.

Diverse questions are investigated including: How can design disclosure about annuities be designed to help people get a better deal? How can firms improve customers’ engagement with their mortgages? What messages encourage customers to claim compensation? Also, behavioral insights in a novel setting are applied; improving compliance and engagement amongst regulated firms using communications.

While some experiments corroborate existing research or find interesting effects, others did not find any statistically significant effects. These results are published, including non-significant and negative results, in the spirit of good research: improving evidence, combatting publication bias and making our research transparent. Some practical lessons are also shared, in the hope that others may benefit from them.

Link to publication