The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have warned that a ‘tick box’ approach to regulation won’t work when applying for full authorisation.

Dealers need to adopt the spirit of regulation as well as the rules. Francisco Esteves one of the Authorities Managers aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding the takeover of responsibility of consumer credit by the FCA.

Esteves has underlined the differences between the FCA and its predecessor, the Office of Fair Trading. “We want businesses to be forward-looking, really think about what the regulations mean and how they can be implemented in the workplace,” he explained. “It’s not just a question of sending off your cheque and hearing nothing from us for five years until another cheque is due. “We will be proactively risk assessing every single firm under our remit. If we come across anything we are unsure about, we don’t immediately assume the company is wrong – but we will probe and question. If we are not satisfied with the answers or outcomes, we will then take action.”

Central to the FCA’s ethos is getting companies to consider the customer’s journey and experience, how the process is perceived by customers, taking that feedback and if necessary changing their approach in order to serve their customers better and most importantly in a compliant way.

Esteves has warned companies without the right processes or people in place that they are unlikely to be authorised. Esteves also confirms the FCA’s five objectives to enable dealers to gain a deeper understanding of the organisation’s expectations. These are:

advertising and pre-contractual promotions;

assessing affordability;

reasonable forbearance when recovering debt;

the provision of advice and ensuring it is in the customer’s best interest and not influenced by an incentive for the business or sales executive;

and whether the business model is appropriate and supported by a culture of ‘doing the right thing’ for customers.

Finally He added: “Being compliant is about doing the right thing for customers and being able to prove this has been delivered in every case. We want businesses to take responsibility for placing the customer’s interest at the heart of a transaction.

If you are in the process of applying for Authorisation and are simply struggling to understand the complexities of the process, then maybe we can help you ?

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