Treating Customers Fairly
Treating customers fairly (TCF) is a central tenet of the FLA and we welcome the regulatory requirements of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In fact, we were active members of the initial TCF consultative group and we have issued our own ‘best practice’ guidance for our members.
All firms regulated by the FSA have to support the FSA Handbook’s principle that a firm ‘must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly’.
The TCF principle aims to raise standards in the way firms perform their business, to benefit consumers and increase their confidence in the financial services industry.
TCF aims to:
- help customers fully understand the features, benefits, risks and costs of the financial products they buy.
- minimise the sale of unsuitable products by encouraging best practice before, during and after a sale.
- incorporate the fair treatment of customers at the very heart of firms
- help ensure the suitability of products sold to individual consumers
- increase the clarity of information provided to consumers at all stages in the sales process
- help further improve the suitability of advice
- aid consumers switch products, make a claim or a complaint
Firms now have to collect data and information to test whether they are delivering the fair outcomes the FSA expects. After analysis, firms must act on the results and make appropriate changes. This will be monitored by the FSA as part of its supervision of financial service firms.
Good for the consumer, good for the industry and good business sense.