FSA urges firms to meet December deadline for TCF

UK firms urged to intensify efforts to meet December deadline to consistently treat customers fairly

LONDON – The latest report from the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) shows firms are falling behind on their Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) programmes. Of the 96 firms surveyed by the FSA, only 13% met the March 2008 deadline to have the management information (MI) in place to test whether they are treating their customers fairly. However, the report also states many of those firms have invested significant time and energy working to measure TCF, and the FSA believes that, with a substantial, continuing effort, about 80% of the sample is still capable of meeting the December implementation deadline.

Sarah Wilson, FSA director for Treating Customers Fairly, said: “Having appropriate MI or other measures in place puts firms in a position where they can measure the quality of the outcomes they are delivering for consumers. These results show that adequate MI is not yet fully in place in the firms assessed – it does not mean that they are treating their customers unfairly. However, we now expect all firms to maintain their momentum and to undertake a significant amount of further work to meet the December deadline of demonstrating that they are consistently treating their customers fairly.”

The FSA will intervene with firms that have failed to meet the March deadline on time and where the regulator thinks it unlikely the firm is capable of meeting the December deadline.

To help firms consolidate their progress so far, and assist them in meeting the December deadline, the FSA has also published further material illustrating good and poor practice in the measurement of outcomes, using examples observed during the assessments.

In January 2008, the FSA launched the small firms’ enhanced strategy to help small firms achieve fair outcomes for consumers. The FSA has not yet assessed a representative sample of this group from which conclusions could be drawn about small firms as a whole, so results against the enhanced strategy will be published at a later date.

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