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The regulator calls it TCF, we call it tlc.
Few clients of Pacific IFA will have heard of TCF – and there’s no reason why they should. The important thing is that you experience it. And if you don’t, we want to know.
So what’s TCF? The UK financial regulator, the FSA (Financial Services Authority) has made it obligatory for the industry to implement a program called Treating Customers Fairly -- TCF for short. TCF has been at the top of the agenda for a number of years but the regulator is now dropping in on firms to make sure they’re complying.
Right from the start, we thought the fundamental principle of the program was a brilliant idea. Here’s our reasons why.
Under TCF, the fair treatment of customers must be absolutely central to the
corporate culture. It cannot merely be a set of customer guidelines hanging in a frame in the lobby and saying something like: ‘Our customers can be sure any complaints will be met with our conscientious attention.”
Rather, TCF is all about delivering what the client wants, needs and is entitled to expect. It’s a dynamic set of principles embedded within the firm, principles that the entire staff live or die by. At Pacific IFA, TCF is integral to our business practices and a core element in the way we behave and transact with clients. You could call it tlc – tender loving care.
In practice, that means a lot of things but here’s a few. The relative merits of financial products must be explained in full including their benefits, risks and costs. Management conduct spot checks to ensure that clients’ records are thoroughly and rigorously maintained. If staff stray off the TCF line they are reminded of their duties and obligations and, if necessary, retrained. We have a strict procedure for dealing with complaints or misunderstandings. Our procedures ensure these will be dealt with independently, promptly and fully. And just as importantly, the in house compliance officer monitors and gives constant feedback on Pacific IFA’s compliance with TCF guidelines - from the administration staff right up to the managing director.
For us, the value of TCF is that it provides a formal set of principles – a sort of road map – which firms can use to guide their way and that consumers can use to ensure their own protection. Pacific IFA’s advisers have always prided themselves on treating customers fairly. If they hadn’t, they would not be with us.
Meantime if you’ve got any complaints, let’s hear from you. At Pacific IFA, they go straight to the top.
Disclaimer: Please note the views and opinions of the financial journalist Selwyn Parker do
not necessarily reflect those of Pacific IFA Limited.