Dealers should embrace the new era of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or risk the imposition of a stricter structure which other industry sectors have been forced to adopt, delegates at AM’s new F&I Compliance Conference will be told when Andy Gruber, director of ALPHERA Financial Services in the UK takes to the stage.
Taking place on November 18 at Oxford Belfry, the F&I Conference has been launched in conjunction with the FCA and is already attracting a range of automotive retail delegates from directors to general managers, business managers and finance directors.
Gruber will set out to convince dealers to view the arrival of the FCA as one of the most fundamentally crucial developments for the industry with the potential to positively impact the bottomline by creating a new culture of transparency which will encourage customers to trust the sector in a way that has not been experienced in the past.
“The arrival of the FCA is a once in a generation opportunity to make a fundamental difference to the way in which the motor finance industry is perceived by all.
"We have a substantial obligation as an industry to ensure that the products and services we offer, and the retail environment in which we operate, are not only fit-for-purpose today but also able to withstand the evolution in the months and years to come,” said Gruber.
“The principles-based approach adopted by the FCA is, however, different in the way that it drives the right behaviour with consumer credit firms, while not being overly prescriptive as to how to go about achieving this.
“We at Alphera really welcome this approach, since this gives our industry a great opportunity to change the culture and processes in its own terms. In my view, our industry would be well advised to seize this opportunity and do it quickly, since the alternative is a more rigid, prescriptive form of regulation as we can already see in other markets.
“I strongly believe that treating the customer fairly will help dealers drive customer loyalty, sales performance, financial results and ultimately overall growth. If every consumer credit firm adopts the FCA principles, the motor retail industry should emerge stronger and more robust than ever.
“Ensuring good customer outcomes and treating the customer fairly are both solid principles on which to build a motor retail industry which is geared for growth. The cultural change, which will happen over the coming months as a result of the FCA, will shape the sector for decades to come.”
Other F&I experts will join Gruber on the main stage when wider issues such as incorporating F&I into social media, the future of gap and the evolving role of the business manager will be explored.