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Tough stance expected from FSA

The automotive sector’s honeymoon on the insurance-based sales regulations looks to be over, according to a leading expert.

Stephanie Murdoch, managing director at Alliance Consultancy, told AM: “The FSA believe it was too light in its enforcement actions to date because there haven’t been any financial penalties. There will be in the future.”

She believes that around 20% of companies have invested time and money into getting the FSA rules right, while another 50% are trying to do what is right.

“Around 30% are waiting for the FSA to knock on their door before they door anything,” she added. “That would be a mistake.”

Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) remains the FSA’s biggest project.

It intends to visit every automotive business and has started in Northern Ireland and north-west England.

Lancashire is believed to be next.

The FSA’s field force is expanding and will continue to grow to meet this timetable.

Companies have to prove they comply with TCF.

The FSA wants to see evidence that they have management information in place.

“There will be a zero tolerance to non-compliance,” said Murdoch. “The FSA will levy fines as appropriate to the risk to the customer.”

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