Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) Obligations
Although a secure route to compensation undoubtedly provides peace of mind, surely the primary aim is to be confident of not having to seek redress in the first place?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fully recognises this and in doing so has recently introduced a TCF initiative in which all authorised firms must, as well as evidencing other standards ensure the following :-
Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
What this boils down to is the necessity to ensure that meeting the customer's best interests, as against those of the business, is the priority in any service provided.*
Failure to meet this primary obligation risks a heavy fine from the FCA, withdrawal of authorisation and even prosecution of the firm's partners or directors.
Over 90% of all FCA authorised financial advisers are or will be assessed by the FCA under this initiative.
- You should be confident therefore that any French mortgage broking provided by an FCA authorised intermediary will be thorough and suitable to you.
- How confident can you be that this would be the case when using an intermediary who is not so regulated?
- What recourse do you have in the event of you suffering financial loss when using an intermediary who is not authorised by the FCA?
- When approaching a bank directly, how confident are you that their limited range of products relative to the market as a whole, will include one which is best suited to your needs?
*See http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Communication/PR/2009/122.shtml for a current example of TCF enforcement in action.