The FCA have launched a new 1 min 42 sec video for firms explaining their expectations for Treating Customers Fairly. https://www.fca.org.uk/media/consumer-credit-treating-customers-fairly
They state that customers expect financial services and products that meet their needs from firms they can trust. The fair treatment of customers should be at the heart of your business and you should be able to demonstrate this.
The video featuring Gordon Finlay, Technical Specialist FCA, talks about the 6 Consumer Outcomes that firms should strive to achieve.
- Outcome 1: Consumers can be confident they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
- Outcome 2: Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly.
- Outcome 3: Consumers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
- Outcome 4: Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
- Outcome 5: Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect.
- Outcome 6: Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.
FCA state that;
Treating customers fairly is a requirement for all regulated firms, no matter their size or the nature of the activities they undertake. The way in which firms ensure that they meet that requirement should, however, be proportionate and relevant to their size and activities.
Firms need to consider the fair treatment of customers throughout the entire customer journey - both before and after entering into a contract. Financial promotions, sales and ongoing service are all covered in later videos but having customers at the heart of your business and ensuring a good culture at your firm is imperative to ensuring that customers are treated fairly.
It is important to understand your customer and what their needs are – both overall and at an individual customer level – so you can ensure that your business model and strategy take their interests into account and put customers at the heart of what you do.
Once a strategy is set, you need to have appropriate systems and controls in place to monitor whether the strategy is successful and whether customers’ needs are being met. This should include adequate record keeping and monitoring to ensure compliance - not only of your firm and its staff but also, where appropriate, third parties acting on your behalf. Please look at SYSC 9.1 for general Our rules covering the systems and controls a firm should have in place can be found in our Handbook.
Firms’ culture and governance are a priority for the FCA. A poor culture is often a driver of poor outcomes for customers and therefore the tone from the top is important in ensuring that a firm treats customers fairly. There is no one size fits all approach to culture but we have published a Discussion Paper aimed at helping firms understand what a good culture might look like for them.