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CPD Record / Training Logs


Jul 22 2013

CPD Record / Training Log

Reason for issue:             Update and reminder. 

Action required:              Read and ensure your CPD record in your Training Log is updated.

Subject:

Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)

Date:

July 2013

What is TCF?

The TCF initiative started out under the previous regulator, the FSA and aimed to raise standards in the way firms carried on their business to benefit consumers and increase their confidence in the financial services industry.

Specifically TCF aims to:

  • help customers fully understand the features, benefits, risks and costs of the financial products they buy; and
  • minimise the sale of unsuitable products by encouraging best practice before, during and after a sale.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the new regulator from April 2013, has not only endorsed this TCF approach but is also consistently promoting it as something it expects to see in all firms it authorises and has made it known publicly that:

Treating customers fairly (TCF) remains central to our expectations of firms’ conduct, that firms put the well-being of customers at the heart of how they run their businesses.

All firms regulated by the (FCA) are required to uphold Principle 6 of the FCA’s Principles for Business, which states “that a firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly’.

The FSA originally outlined six core consumer outcomes that it wished to see as a result of the TCF initiative. 

These remain core to what the FCA expects of firms and will continue to use them as an important factor in guiding regulatory decisions and actions.  These outcomes are:

Outcome 1:

Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture;

Outcome 2:

Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly;

Outcome 3:

Consumers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale;

Outcome 4:

Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances;

Outcome 5:

Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect;

Outcome 6:

Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

The FCA has copied the FSA in that it does not lay down any standard way in which TCF should be assessed and implemented and continues to highlight key areas where it believes that effort should be concentrated, such as:

  • product design;
  • financial promotion/marketing practices;
  • the sales process;
  • information and customer support after the point of sale;
  • Complaint handling.

The FCA also expects firms to collect and analyse sufficient Management Information (MI) that would allow the firm to confirm that it is succeeding in TCF but more importantly, giving early warning of slippage that can then be quickly corrected.

Our approach

Our priority is to provide our customers with an excellent service underpinned by quality and choice. We are committed to ensuring our employees stay with us and our customers want to buy our services and recommend us to their families, friends and colleagues.

Our service is shaped by listening to our customers’ needs and understanding what is important to them. We take responsibility for meeting the needs of our customers and always look for ways to improve the quality of our service.

We aim to treat our customers fairly and deliver high quality services which meet their expectations throughout their relationship with us.

We recognise that our employees are critical to delivering a positive customer experience and ensuring our customers are treated fairly. Our culture and values encourage and support our employees to deliver this and give opportunity for them to alert the firm’s management to any means of improvement.

We are continuously monitoring and measuring our TCF activity and making sure it is entrenched in every part of our business

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