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Banks not treating customers fairly

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19/07/2006

The Financial Services Authority’s rules aimed at making firms treat customers fairly are not yet benefiting consumers, the Financial Services Consumer Panel has claimed.

The Panel said that in too many financial services firms the benefits of the principle of “Treating Customers Fairly” (TCF) were not yet reaching consumers. It claimed the reason for this was that the staff dealing with customers on a daily basis did not understand the principles of treating customers fairly.

The Consumer Panel also claimed there was currently non-compliance with the TCF guidelines in financial advertising, that many firm’s mortgage documents were not up to scratch, and that advice to customers must be improved.

The chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, John Howard, said: “For consumers to have confidence in the financial services industry, they need to be able to trust that the adverts that they see, the documents they read, and the advice they are given are all clear, fair and not misleading. That is what ‘treating customers fairly’ should be about. It is not good enough just to ‘talk the talk’ in head office. Financial services firms must ‘walk the walk’ in the high street as well.”

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