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FSA pledges fair deal on TCF action

Firms that fail their treating customers fairly visit in the run-up to the December deadline will not automatically face enforcement action, says the FSA.

Director of small firms Leslie Titcomb told delegates at the Personal Finance Society conference in Birmingham this week there are three possible outcomes of a TCF assessment visit. She said where a firm demonstrates good TCF understanding and has appropriate practices and controls, there will be no follow-up.

Where a firm has made an effort to meet the deadline but has some shortfall, recommendations will be made and the firm will be expected to implement changes.

Where a firm has performed badly, Titcomb said it will have a day-long supervision visit to check any progress since the initial assessment, carry out file-checking and agree on time-bound actions.

She said: “Firms must then report back to the FSA on their progress. This is not enforcement action. Only where firms do not respond to this process will we look at taking enforcement action.”

Titcomb reassured advisers that the visits are designed to be an open discussion, not an interrogation.

She said: “There will be plenty of time for advisers to discuss different issues and to get their ideas across. Assessors will give oral feedback straight away and if you do not understand what they’re saying, enter into a conversation about it and ask questions.”

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