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FSA scraps TCF workshops

The FSA has cancelled its programme of regional workshops on treating customers fairly to concentrate its resources on the move to the new regulatory restructure and the RDR.

The FSA has been carrying out its regional small firms TCF assessment programme since March 2008. It has included roadshows, face-to-face-visits and phone interviews.

The regulator scheduled six regional events to follow up on earlier assessments, but decided to cancel them last week and notified advisers earlier this week. A total of 88 firms had been invited to attend and 18 firms had confirmed their attendance.

In December, FSA chief executive Hector Sants said the regulator would spend less time on the routine supervision of smaller firms in order to concentrate on the transition to the new regulatory structure.

An FSA spokeswoman says: “We have cancelled all of the workshops due to a reprioritisation of resources so we can meet the timetable for our regulatory reform agenda.”

Paladin Financial Services managing director Tim Purdon was due to attend one of the workshops.

He says: “I am disappointed because this was an opportunity for us to get practical guidance from the FSA on what is a day-to-day issue.

“What grounds does the FSA have for criticising IFAs for not meeting the required standards when they do not even come and talk to those IFAs about those standards?”


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There are 27 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I think I will “reprioritise” my resources too for silly stuff like looking after my clients and making money rather than………

  2. They were a complerte and utter waste of time. Do us all a favour and scrap yourselves. Would improve the industry no end…….

  3. News to me – I received a letter from the FSA on Monday confirming my attendance at the Cambridge workshop
    Usual efficient communication……..

  4. Guess I’ll just scrap TCF and concentrate on RDR then. Oh no……..I can’t, cause I’m not allowed to make up the rules as I go along!!!

  5. I was one of those “invited” to the workshops. I did not sign up to the workshop as I had already spent a day at a workshop last year, I had then prepared and attended a one to one interview. I am fully aware of the requirements of TCF as was proven by the results of the interview. What more were the FSA going to add? They have been cancelled through lack of take up which I for one totally understand. The FSA have gone into overkill on this topic.

  6. I still haven’t worked out what TCF is – other than the bloody obvious of doing your best for the client.

    It is the civil service mentality of the FSA that should be scrapped – perhaps then we would have more time to spend looking after our clients rather than pandering to their endless box-ticking.

  7. FSA.
    I think with 18 out of 88 firms accepting your kind invitation it is a case of IFA firms prioritising their resources and you having to simply save face.

    So if you had had a significant attendance and run the TCF worshops you would not be in a possition to meet your time table for regulatory reform.! we assume. This despite having had 4 years to prepare. Kettle , pot !

  8. Rumour has it that TCF is being replaced by TAF…Treating Advisers Fairly!

  9. WHOOPS ! …. they have decided that we wont need tcf …………………………………………………ONCE THEY HAVE PUT US ALL OUT OF BUSINESS¬

  10. Perhaps that TCF was Total Flippin Comedy after all …..we won’t tell anyone what we are thinking then they wont know that we have changed our minds again!

  11. Total

  12. Congratulations FSA on being the worst regulator in 25 years!

  13. I have to say that I attended a TCF workshop and found it both interesting and useful. I always find it of value hearing it from ‘the horse’s mouth’ and it does give one the opportunity of seeing your Regulator at close quarters.

    To those of you who are consistently antipathetic I can only quote the Godfather:

    “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”

    However I do think this is yet another gaffe by the canaries. We had such a song and dance about TCF and how it was supposed to be core to everything expected of us – and now because they are wrestling with their new Frankenstein this is being dropped.

    With their new concentration I do hope they sort the administration and regulation of the new divisions properly, but I’ll not hold my breath. Restricted is a franchise to Bamboozle.

    This volte face doesn’t give out a good message. Can we then expect RDR to be dropped when the FCA dreams up the next exciting shiny new project? What a waste of time, money and effort. But it’s not their money, nor is it their wasted time and effort, so what should they care.

  14. Presumably they’ve ‘examined the MI’, ‘analysed overall performance’ and decided not to proceed based on the ‘desired outcomes’ theory. In short, TCF is common sense to the vast majority of advisers, and it’s been going on for years.

    I’d just love to know the FSA’s angle if they considered advisers as their customers.

    I do hope they’ll be sending out questionnaires to capture some data from us (after the event), to collate and analyse MI on whether or not we’re satisfied with them. Somehow I doubt it.

  15. #anonymous@4:26 – the FSA does not have a Civil Service mentality. In the Civil Service they do not ignore legislation – like the long stop for example.

    Still if anybody wants a TCF workshop let me know. Unlike the FSA, I have customers who I have to treat fairly or I lose them not chattels to do what I please with.

  16. So what will happen to the Conduct Risk Team? They had a (dwindling) number of associates and manager/s allocated to TCF……perhaps they can move across to the MAS?

  17. ….and what about the vast amount of money and resources spent over the last few years on an initiative started by John Tiner?

    There have been numerous committee, meetings, internal training to associates from FSA and external training consultants…not to mention the number of high profile thematic visits to firms, RMP actions on the back of ARROW assessments, fines and censures.

    It is obvious that Hector Sants has never had the appetite for this programme as his predecessor and now he can quietly sweep this embarrassing initiative under the carpet. Believe me, this is a major blow to all those TCF consultants out there!!

  18. I’vejust had an email from the FSA saying they are not cancelled!

    Get your stories right!

  19. Can we stop work on TCF and focus our resources on the RDR instead? While it may make sense from the FSA’s point of view, IFAs too are under enormous pressure in terms of both time and money and need a break from TCF i.e. allow it to take a lower priority. Yes TCF is or should be a part of our culture already but we do not need more workshops, TCF consultants, papers, just a recognition by teh FSA that we no longer need to be so quite pro-active.

  20. Dear delegate

    You may have read an article in Money Marketing about the cancellation of some events. This email is to inform you that the event you are attending on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:00 is still going ahead as planned.

    We look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

    Kind regards

  21. TCF was too sucessful. Happy, well looked after clients (as opposed to customers) who dont complain, got valuable advice and referred you to friends.
    Being treated so fairly means there is little need for regulation!
    So perhaps the FSA have ditched TCF so that complaints will rise and keep THEM in a job?

  22. Never got the whole TCF thing, just seemed like a complete waste of time and money.

    If I run my business properly, I work with my clients and meet their needs, I am properly regulated and this is checked.

    Why do we need a whole separate department costing millions, is this not what the FSA should be providing.

  23. personally i ignore the whole thing as when the FSA were asked for the definition of “fair” they said it was deliberately left undefined as “fairness means different things to different people”.

    that’s not what i call clarity

  24. This really makes me laugh, it is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    I am a customer from outside of the industry and can confirm that over 30 odd years of saving in endowments, pensions, share funds I have been ripped off in every one. It is no surprise that people have turned away from financial services as a whole, those that have some real world experience are spreading the word.

    what the FSA should focus on is preventing dubious activities, such as mega-exit fees, re-attribution scams, over trading of funds, excess charges and all of the other real world abuses. That is the only way it can really raise it’s credibility. Fine the miscreants, jail the worst and then we might actually find firms treating customers fairly.

    For the rest of you that are professionally involved in the industry, wake up and smell the coffee. There is no future in doing what you do, too many customers have been burned too many times.

  25. Steve,

    Have you ever spent the time getting to know your financial adviser and developed the understanding and trust that he is really looking after your interests and not his/ her own? There is no benefit in “ripping off” customers. It just does not fit into a long term business model. Please elaborate?

  26. Whilst in Londinium yesterday I had a few minutes spare and stood in the doorway of a couple of banks, in one NatWest branch there was a smartly dressed man clutching a folder and eyeing up the ‘customers’ as they came in, his eyes soon lit up and he pounced on one particular pedestrian heading for the counter, a firm grip of the elbow and some unarmed combat moves later the ‘customer’ was sitting at a table in the corner looking quite fearful.

    Does the FSA ‘invite’ bank staff to any roadshows? No, I didn’t think so.

  27. Worked hard, passed last R0 exam, got my Diploma from CII, gone and done all my Gap Fill, via CII web-site, emailed CII to get confirmation that now L4 qualified, see the reply:-

    “Thank you for your email.

    Congratulations on your achievement. We will be rolling out the verification and issuance of Statements of Professional Standing (SPS) once the Financial Services Authority (FSA) confirm us as an accredited body. We will make you aware of the next stage of Gap Fill (verification) once this becomes available.

    If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

    So FSA must have been really busy in all their efforts, but not busy enough to ensure those who have been able to do the work, can have their sign off. Perhaps they are still in “reactive mode” as my understanding is, even if you have done the correct exams and or Gap Fill, and all this was done for say Dec 2012, you still need to have the sign off, by the Authorised body, which likely there will be log jams, so if you pass but leave the request to get L4 confirmation too late, you could not practice post end 2012 without.
    Therefore the point is, why have the FSA set benchmarks and not signing people off in advance of date? “Is it me?!!!!”

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