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The FCA and Treating Customers Fairly

Recently the FCA has introduced an initiative called ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ or ‘TCF’ for short. This is for consumer protection and Lighthouse Advisory Services Ltd and therefore Clear Financial Services (UK) Ltd. fully comply with this initiative. The main points of this are detailed below:

All firms regulated by the FCA have to support the FCA Handbook’s principle that a firm ‘must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly’.

The TCF (‘treating customer fairly’) principle aims to raise standards in the way firms carry on their business by introducing changes that will benefit consumers and increase their confidence in the financial services industry.

Specifically TCF aims to:
Help customers fully understand the features, benefits, risks and costs of the financial products they buy and minimise the sale of unsuitable products by encouraging best practice before, during and after a sale

Desired consumer outcomes of TCF
The FCA has outlined six core consumer outcomes that it wishes to see as a result of the TCF initiative. These are:

Outcome 1 – Consumers can be confident that 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 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

What TCF isn’t

TCF does not mean:
Creating satisfied customers; a satisfied customer could still be treated unfairly and not know it

That every firm must offer an identical level of service – the FCA recognises that businesses have different resources and ways of doing things

That the FCA has the final say on which products consumers should want or be sold

That customers are no longer expected to make decisions or take responsibility for them

TCF is about a culture – doing business in a way that will help ensure customers get fair treatment

Complaints and redress
Clear Financial Services (UK) Ltd takes care to provide the highest standards of service. However, in the event that you should have a complaint, we will investigate the matter in line with our procedures and in accordance with the FCA Rules and will report our findings. If you are still unhappy with the outcome you will have the right to take an eligible complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and we will provide details of how to do so at that stage. Details of how the Financial Ombudsman Service can help can be found on their website;  www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/complaints.htm or you can ring the consumer help line, 0800 0234567 or 0300 1239123

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – FSCS. If you make a valid claim against the company in respect of the advice provided and we are unable to meet our liabilities in full, you may be entitled to redress from the FSCS. The FSCS provides protection against an authorised investment firm going out of business.