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MS poll result: Brokers split over TCF “failure”

by: Mortgage Solutions
  • 27/10/2011
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MS poll result: Brokers split over TCF “failure”
In the latest Mortgage Solutions poll, we asked brokers if they thought the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) regime was a failure.

It revealed that 47% of brokers believe the existing TCF principles do not provide enough protection for consumers, while 53% disagreed.

The results followed Adam Phillip, the head of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, stating last week that TCF has failed to adequately protect consumers and should be replaced with a “fiduciary duty” to act in the best interests of the client.

Richard Adams, managing director of the Stonebridge Group, said: “I think it is the FSA’s role to provide more protection and to enforce that. I do not think any principle in TCF can be argued against; it is a question of whether it is adopted.

“There are other things that perhaps it should be attending to in terms of consumer protection, rather than TCF.”

He added: “I cannot criticise TCF as an attempt to protect the consumer, because I think the principles are sound.

“But as to whether it is a success or a failure, I think that is down to the industry as a whole rather than the FSA in particular.”

Alison Beech, business relationship director at Spicerhaart, insisted that the existing TCF principles may need to be looked at again.

She said: “TCF is obviously enshrined in everything we do at Spicerhaart, but looking at the results it may be that the principles behind TCF may need to be reviewed and refreshed in the light of industry feedback and also a shifting market context.

“It may also be that brokers could look at TCF as a starting point rather than the finishing line and think of TCF as a guide on which to build their customer proposition.”

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