The FSA has increased its enforcement resources to tackle firms that fail to meet treating customers fairly guidelines.
At the Mortgage Business Expo in Belfast last week, outgoing FSA small firms division manager Dominic Clark said the regulator will be identifying firms that are not meeting TCF requirements and is prepared for enforcements.
The regulator’s enhanced strategy initiative, which aims to help firms engage with its TCF principles, is to start in Northern Ireland in March.
Clark said firms will be notified in advance about visits or surgery sessions will be arranged. He said: “We have seen a large number of firms over the years. It is all about increasing the pace of change. We want to see small firms embedding TCF into all of their processes.”
He said the FSA has already started the second round of its quality of advice work, with staff contacting firms and visits under way this week.
Clark warned that enforcement action is likely if firms fail to make changes suggested to them following the first round of thematic work.
He suggested that sole traders should meet together to “compare notes” on issues such as assessing affordability.
Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Chris Cummings said the AMI will be sending information out for firms to use as an example of what the regulator requires on the TCF regime.