The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given firms that have failed to make satisfactory progress in integrating the 'treating customers fairly' (TCF) principle into their business until March 2007 to demonstrate that they are taking the initiative seriously.
The regulator has also urged those firms that are already implementing TCF to maintain the momentum of their TCF work so that it delivers real benefits to consumers.
The FSA’s latest progress report sets out two key findings. The first is the mixed picture; with the majority of firms making good progress, but others lagging behind. As a result the FSA has announced that it expects those firms who are behind to have begun implementing their TCF plans in a substantial part of their business by the March deadline.
The second finding is that while the senior managers of most firms are showing a commitment to reviewing their practices and introducing changes where necessary, in many cases this has not yet fully reached the customer-facing front line of those firms’ activities.
We acknowledge that most firms are making good progress on implementing treating customers fairly, and we encourage their senior management to keep the momentum going, says Clive Briault, managing director of retail markets at the FSA.
But many firms now need to step up a gear, in particular to make the cultural and behavioral changes necessary so that treating customers fairly is fully embedded throughout their business. The treating customers fairly principle will only be effective when it makes a real difference to the consumers it was introduced to benefit, he adds.