Treating customers fairly
Last reviewed 24/10/2012: any recent updates in this colour.
The FSA has 11 principles for business, which can be found in the PRIN section of its handbook. The 6th of these principles - entitled "customers' interests" - states that "A firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly."
The FSA considers that firms should embed the principle of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) in every aspect of their operations. It has a separate section on its website where you can find all the relevant publications which it has issued on TCF, along with links to relevant speeches by senior FSA staff.
The 2007 progress report was published on 8 May 2007: you can find the link in the accompanying press release.
A paper setting out the FSA's "culture framework" for firms to work with in developing their TCF work was published in July 2007.
A further report on "Measuring Outcomes" was published on 6 November 2007 with an accompanying press release. It consists of:
- a paper setting out firms' progress in delivering the FSA's six TCF outcomes;
- a note (appears as the Annex to the paper referred to above) on how the FSA measures TCF outcomes; and;
- examples of how firms are collecting and using management information to demonstrate that they are working to meet the outcomes and the FSA's deadlines.
NB the FSA has published an erratum to the 6 November publication: this relates to the targeting of self-certification mortgages and appears on page 13. The reference to lenders not having enough time to check proof of earnings has been deleted and the FSA has explained that the intention of the revised wording is to remove an ambiguity between self-certification and non-income-verified lending in general.
We support the tcfinfo website, which is sponsored by a number of our members. It is designed to give free guidance to mortgage intermediaries on how to apply TCF to all aspects of their businesses. To date, just under 2000 intermediaries have registered with the site.