Two recent articles about CitiSolutions in Money Marketing on April 29 and May 6 deserve reply. CitiSolutions delivers simple, appropriate and competitively priced protection products primarily to the UK's underserved middle-income consumer market. Our business model ensures that we can serve a market that many other financial services companies choose not to.
Contrary to the inference in the article of April 29, trainee representatives do receive comprehensive training before they are allowed to conduct business with potential clients, under supervision. Unaccompanied activity is prohibited until a representative is certified and deemed competent.
Also, CitiSolutions representatives are not paid, as the same article suggests, for “every new agent they introduce”. Rather, representatives only receive a proportionate commission from business introduced by a new representative and this only after the new representative has been properly trained and deemed competent.
The company has extensive compliance controls in place both in the field and the back office to support the business and it is fully compliant with UK law and regulation. CitiSolutions maintains a regular dialogue with the FSA on current and future regulation as it affects its business model.
We are disappointed with claims made in the article of May 6, which contains a number of inaccuracies. In particular, representatives do not provide consumers with advice on mortgages. We simply introduce interested consumers to our mortgage provider. This practice will not change when the FSA begins to regulate mortgage business at the end of October 2004.
We have maintained a dialogue with the Consumers Association on our approach to business and it is with some regret that we felt it necessary to write this letter to clarify the position.
Finally, it is CitiSolutions' continued objective to provide middle-income customers who are not served by many financial institutions with simple products that provide real value at a price they can afford.