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FSA in the spotlight: Fair treatment of customers

August and September have been busy for the FSA. There has been some significant disciplinary action to learn from.

Carphone Warehouse has been fined £245,000 for not treating customers fairly (recognize those words?). This is the first fine for a secondary intermediary and was for its failure to provide customers with a copy of a statement of demands and needs.

Mortgage firm Regency Mortgage Corporation has been fined £56,000 for failures relating to the sale of loan related PPI. Its fine was for insufficient information on customers being collected. As a result, some customers were sold policies for which they already had cover.

Both were in breach of the FSA’s ‘Treating Customer’s Fairly’ principle, which requires firms to pay due regard to the interests of their customers.

Finally, the FSA is on the road again. It plans to visit 200 authorized firms over the next three months as a review on standards associated with handling client money, so be prepared!

There are still a number of dealerships who applied for permission to hold client money that actually don’t. It is important that dealerships ensure that they hold the correct permissions for their business activities. You should check your records on Firms Online without delay.

For those firms not feeling confident about the FSA requirements and are still confused about Treating Customers Fairly, there are a series of regional training courses on these subjects. For further details contact: 0845 226 2970 or email: enquiries@allianceconsultancy.com Stephanie Murdoch, managing director, Alliance Consultancy Limited

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