Too many financial services companies are treating the FSA’s treating customers fairly initiative as a compliance issue and not addressing it at a senior enough level according to consultants Watson Wyatt.
At the Watson Wyatt Debating Forum held on April 12 about 30 senior executives from UK insurance companies and other financial services organisations voted on the motion that “this house believes that the FSA’s treating customers fairly (TCF) initiative will serve to restore customer faith in the financial services industry”.
Almost all organisations recognise the need for cultural change. The vote following the debate ended 46 per cent to 54 per cent – against the motion.
But there was some consensus that the TCF initiative could help to restore customer faith in the financial services industry if it is implemented in conjunction with other initiatives, such as financial literacy and consumer education.
Watson Wyatt head of UK insurance and financial services practives Martin Pike says: “For the TCF initiative to have real impact it will need full buy-in and leadership at board-level. TCF will require a change of culture in most companies. Ideally, it needs to be led at CEO level – as the FSA has itself indicated – and through a multidisciplinary project team that incorporates not just compliance, but sales, marketing, customer services and human resources. Some organisations are clearly embracing TCF fully, but from the voting at the Debating Forum, others are yet to be convinced.”