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TCF weighs heavy on firms

The treating customers fairly regime must be overhauled as it is placing too heavy a burden on firms as well as taking up too much of the regulator’s res-ources, says the Financial Services Practitioner Panel.

Chairman Nick Prettejohn said he supports the target outcome but believes the regulator’s focus has become too strong. He said the panel feel that TCF has become excess- ively preoccupied with “granular detail”, turning the regime into a series of process-orien- ted tasks rather than focusing on outcomes.

He added: “I am concerned that TCF has become disp-roportionate and is taking up too much resources at the FSA. It has been over-detailed and insufficiently risk-based in its application.”

He said there needs to be a fundamental overhaul and review of TCF and welcomed the FSA’s decision to conduct some detailed work on assessing the costs, burdens and the impact of the regime.

Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel chairman Mark Rothery said small firms are being hampered by unreasonably high regulatory requirements. “The burden and cost of regulation on small firms is affecting their ability to trade efficiently.”

Interface Financial Planning director Alan Moran said: “I am a sole trader with two administration employees. Our whole company is focused on client care and we have done a lot of work on how the six principles of TCF relate to our business but it is very difficult to demonstrate to the regulator that we do treat our customers fairly.”

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