This year’s Automotive Management Live event will see Compliancy Services equip dealers with how to respond to the FCA’s letter to bosses.
A ‘Dear CEO’ letter from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to firms providing customer credit, outlining its expectation for handling customer complaints has probably sent shivers down the spines of most dealers.
Compliancy Services will highlight some simple steps to put in place in response at this year’s Automotive Management Live event.
Consultant Jenny Kenlin (pictured) will outline five ways to tackle the issues raised by the FCA in its letter as part of the event’s F&I insight theatre.
Automotive Management Live takes place on 9th November at Birmingham NEC and brings together a host of suppliers in the vast exhibition hall as well as providing best practice seminars and its insight theatre, which also includes sessions on used cars and the new data protection rules GDPR.
Kenlin will draw attention to one of the last paragraphs in the letter which states “the FCA may ask for evidence of compliance including any reviews which have been undertaken following receipt of the letter”, and warns formal action could be taken if ‘serious failings’ are found.
Kenlin said: “This would appear to be a stark warning to all firms to make sure they take notice.
"One thing we can be sure of, is that this issue is high on the FCA agenda and something that will be monitored going forward by information submitted on GABRIEL (the FCA’s online portal) and, ultimately, supervisory and enforcement activity.
“In moving to be regulated by the FCA many firms have not sufficiently improved their policies and procedures and this could be leaving them open to substantial remediation and compensation costs.
"These risks can be mitigated by taking some simple steps.
“A legacy issue facing many firms providing consumer credit is the transition from being regulated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the much tighter principles based regime of the FCA.
"Traditionally, firms have relied heavily on trade body support and representation to direct them in the way they handle complaints. Most will have a customer friendly approach, but unless this follows the FCA guidelines you will not be compliant.”
In its letter, the FCA highlighted 10 areas where firms authorised for consumer credit were failing including general non-compliance with the DISP (dispute resolution) rules, poor complaint handling practices and failing to provide customers with the required Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) information including their right to refer their complaint to the body.
Compliancy Services has put together a five-point review process, which Kenlin will talk through as part of her session, to enable dealers to identify any gaps in their processes.
“Taking action now will put firms in a stronger position and avoid potential fines and penalties, or worse remediation programmes that involve retrospective redress.”
Free for dealer and manufacturer delegates, there’s still time to pre-register your place at Automotive Management Live 2017.