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Examples of TCF shortfalls will be published

The FSA will increase its treating customers fairly push this year, focusing on monitoring industry progress and publishing examples of firms’ TCF shortfalls.

Firms should undertake significant work to ensure they build on the progress made so far and pay particular attention to TCF when market conditions are more challenging.

The regulator has highlighted several examples of TCF shortfalls, including unfair contract terms, adviser communications with consumers, the suitability of recommendations, Sipps and payment protection insurance.

It says it also plans to review standards where requirements have changed following the introduction of the new conduct of business rulebook. The business plan says: “Over the coming year we will continue to monitor closely firms’ drafting of contract terms and use our powers to stop the use of unfair terms where we find them.

“We will carry out a thema-tic project to assess the quality of advice firms give consumers when recommending transfers into personal pensions and self-invested personal pensions.”

The regulator also says it will introduce new PPI rules to provide a tighter basis for holding firms to account.

The plan says: “We will publish a further report on this work in the second half of 2008, and will continue to liaise closely with the Competition Commission to help inform its investigation into the PPI market.”


Housing market suffers weakest January since records began

The number of people buying homes has fallen to its lowest level in fourteen years. Year on year activity for the housing market dropped by nearly 40 per cent in January, according to research by Connells Survey and Valuation. Connells says the rental market has suffered most, with its share of the purchase market falling […]


Written in the sand

FTS, the sister company of Cardif Pinnacle, will be sponsoring this year’s annual Beach Volleyball Classic Tournament on August 23 and 24 at Central Beach, Great Yarmouth. It will also be sponsoring Great Yarmouth’s entry to the Norfolk Disability Youth Games on October 17 at the University of East Anglia Sportspark, Norwich.

Primary lessons

The FSA’s proposals for primary advice are the latest attempt to strike the right balance between customer access and appropriate financial outcomes. Could the approach suggested in the retail distribution review achieve this or will it fail to make the hoped for impact?

Lost property

February and March are key months to consider tax planning to maximise the use of an individual’s allowances, reliefs, exemptions, etc. for the current tax year. Some of these will be lost if not used before the year-end.


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