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Black Horse comment: Time for dealers to embrace the TCF culture

Black Horse continues to keep dealers up-to-date with current and forthcoming legislation.

Recent communications have included the increased scope of the Financial Ombudsman jurisdiction and the latest information from the FSA on ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ (TCF).

Black Horse ‘FSA-registered’ dealers were recently informed of the latest TCF focus and given guidelines on how best to demonstrate the ‘outcomes’ for which the FSA is looking.

TCF is embedded in an FSA ‘Principle for Business’ that “a firm must pay due regard to the interest of its customers and treat them fairly”.

By March 31, 2007, all FSA authorised dealers were expected to have started implementing a TCF culture, having identified any gaps in their processes and taken action to address them.

If dealers are visited under the TCF survey, they must be able to provide evidence of all activity that has been undertaken.

The ‘outcomes’ are summarised as follows:

  • Customers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
  • Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified customers and targeted accordingly.
  • Customers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
  • Where customers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
  • Products perform as expected and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as customers have been led to expect.
  • Consumers do not face post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

    For each ‘outcome’ dealers need to consider whether the culture of their business supports the achievement of the objective. TCF is the key for every successful business to build long-term relationships with customers.

  • Further information can be obtained from the FSA website www.fsa.gov.uk/tcf
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