FSA urges use of TCF toolkit

Ramesh Sharma

March 18, 2006

The tool is not a checklist, but is designed to indicate to smaller firms some of the areas on which they should focus in order to help ensure fair treatment of their customers. It comprises a set of questions relating to the structure, the sales process and the after-sales care of customers to prompt smaller firms to consider if they have fully considered how the FSA’s ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ (TCF) principles could be embedded into their business.

Sarah Wilson, the FSA’s director with responsibility for TCF, said: “The FSA expects TCF to be business as usual for all firms regardless of their size. But we do recognise smaller firms may need additional help in identifying the areas on which they should focus. We are asking firms’ management to use the tool to consider how their firm performs against each of the areas we have highlighted, and to take action where they see gaps in their business strategy, culture or processes. We shall be monitoring smaller firms’ progress in embracing TCF and may wish to discuss this in detail with them in future. In the meantime, firms should act to reduce any risks to TCF that they discover.”

Bill Warren, director at the Complete Network, said: “I’ve looked at this. It is a useful and practical assessment tool.”

To help smaller firms implement and embed TCF into their business practices, the FSA will also offer special industry training and will continue to provide smaller firms with examples of good and bad practice on its website, which can be found at www.fsa.gov.uk.

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