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“Mapfre is taking a proactive stance on this,” he added. “We remain adamant that dealers play a vital role in identifying and satisfying consumer needs for GAP and all F&I products. This is something we’ll continue to be vocal about over the coming months.”

Tim Heavisides, chief executive at Car Care Plan, welcomed dealers’ pragmatic approach to complying with ever-evolving regulation in the market.

“A central part of our role in support for dealers is making sure products are being sold appropriately to buyers,” he said.

“They’ve embraced that approach with enthusiasm. Regulation is a continually moving entity. What’s compliant now might shift in the future, but the FCA is doing a great job of making sure the regulation evolves steadily over time.”

Heavisides said it was inevitable that selling and processes would need to move along with the regulation. “That’s where dealers need to use their partners to help with training and development plans,” he added.

“Our experience of working with the FCA is that it doesn’t want to penalise businesses. The authority does want to make sure that customers are receiving a fair deal and being presented with products in the right way.”

He said training formed the backbone of compliant distribution and Car Care Plan’s business development managers worked closely with dealers and manufacturers.

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  • max - 03/10/2014 12:12

    “The process demands documents such as regulatory business plans and that the dealer can actively demonstrate the customer is the central focus of its business activities and is treated fairly. In many instances, the dealer simply doesn’t know what information the FCA is asking for, or they cannot provide the information as they do not track it.” Dealers have an expectation, that ‘someone else’ will take care of this for them. Manufacturer / finance houses / compliance gurus and consultants / trade bodies, the list is endless. When will the motor dealers realise that there are regulatory matters that are 100% their personal responsibility? Sure, by all means gather as much help and opinion that is available, but there is no substitute for reading the handbook rules and governing principles. Ah, will come the reply, it’s hard, the language isn’t always easy to follow and a hundred other reasons why it can’t be done……. Rather than accepting some things just are 'hard' and need the effort. After all this shouldn’t be wasted tick box time, it should all be quality transparent business practice. Much of it may exist already, but most of which will not be recorded, monitored or easily articulated. Your customers deserve to be treated fairly, and you have a regulator who insists on it. A regulator who is so much better than the FSA, in explaining itself, publishing speeches with direction, issuing guides / notes / and help, to try make it easy as it can for all the firms it regulates. Engage, evolve, do the detail, truly understand that ‘you just don’t sell cars’ – you are well and truly into selling F&I, and your customers deserve you do the very best by them. Do it for the right reasons, the customer, but keep in mind, the regulator will likely show their teeth soon, and the vultures of the CMCs will be circling all too soon. I return to the extract at the top – it’s phrased as though it’s in some way unreasonable for the FCA to ‘demand’ such documents. Isn’t there another way of looking at it – it’s not what the regulator is asking for per say (though a lot is prescriptive) but what the business should already be able to provide the FCA (or anyone, including themselves and customers) to explain that they are meeting the requirements. Why don’t dealers track this? Maybe because, the true ethos of TCF eludes them, or that they still don’t see the rules apply to them, as it’s someone else’s responsibility? If you are an Approved Person, or a director with significant functions, it’s your responsibility.