The variety of interpretations of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations by the motor industry can be confusing for dealers while new GAP rules have meant dealers have had to implement even more procedures, said Jerry Page, Mercedes-Benz Retail Group finance and insurance director.
Page will take to the stage at this year’s F&I Compliance Conference on 10 November when he will give his views on operating under the FCA and how the F&I landscape has shifted in the past 18 months following the arrival of the new regulator as well as the introduction of new rules for Gap on 1 September.
He said: “Whilst the industry as a whole, from dealers to finance providers, have embraced the FCA regulations and largely seeing its remit of ‘treating customers fairly’ as a force for good, it has been interesting to see how different interpretations have now manifested themselves in a variety of new processes in showrooms.
“When you have a number of finance providers’ products available to use, it can be confusing for dealers as suppliers have interpreted the rules differently and adopted different practices when it comes to providing consumers with their finance product. The job for dealers is to provide a seamless and consistent experience for all their customers even when they could be offering one buyer a product from one finance company and a few hours later talking about a different product from another provider.
“When the FCA first took responsibility for consumer finance, I thought the industry would naturally come together and establish a common approach, but, in fact, large variations remain. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, two finance providers can have product dynamics which may vary, but remain compliant. Dealers, though, need to be on the ball when these circumstances arise.”
He added: “The introduction of new regulations for the sale of Gap insurance has also created a ripple of nervousness through the industry; not surprisingly, dealers are apprehensive about getting it wrong. But it is worth the effort, Gap is a good product and we just have to approach it with the attitude that time invested presenting products properly will improve customer outcomes. We should expect more of the same from the FCA in the future.”
Taking place at the Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands, the second AM F&I Compliance Conference returns after the success of last year’s event. This year’s conference takes a look at the F&I landscape under the new regulatory organisation and explores how dealers have responded, expert views and possible future trends.
Page brings the retailer perspective and he will also address the question whether pay structures should be revised to better meet the demands of the FCA and asks whether there is a future for commission-based earnings and sales managers’ bonuses.