The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) introduced an outcome based regulatory and supervisory approach known as Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) to ensure that the regulated Financial Service Providers (FSPs) deliver specific, clearly set out fairness outcomes for financial customers.
How does the TCF outcomes protect me as a customer?
Through TCF outcomes (refer to below), the FSCA aims to place the customer at the center of the FSPs business. The FSCA requires the FSPs to walk a journey with you the customer as opposed to making a sale and never hearing from the financial advisor/broker again after signing up for a sale.
These outcomes need to be demonstrated and upheld by the regulated FSPs throughout the product life cycle, from product design, promotion, advice, servicing to complaints and claims handling. During March, South Africa celebrates consumer rights month where customers are reminded to exercise their rights when buying financial products and services. The FSCA as a regulator of FSPs, encourages financial customers to know, understand and familiarise themselves with the TCF outcomes as defined below. This will enable them to, among others, buy financial products and services (i.e. investments) with detailed information, understand and negotiate complex financial products and services, manage risks effectively, avoid financial pitfalls and understand how to lodge a complaint against unscrupulous conduct by FSPs.
The six TCF outcomes are defined by the FSCA as follows:
1. TCF Outcome 1 – Customers must be confident that they are dealing with FSPs where TCF is central to the corporate culture
- Is the customer orientation or customer centric approach reflected in the firm’s philosophy, value statements, vision or mission – or any combination of these?
2. TCF Outcome 2 – Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified customer groups and are targeted accordingly
- Is the product designed to meet your needs and does it meet your budget?
3. TCF Outcome 3 – Customers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after point of sale
- Was the product or service explained to you in simple plain language?
- Were all your questions answered satisfactorily?
- Did you understand all the policy details before you were led to sign the agreement?
4. TCF Outcome 4 – Where advice is given, it is suitable and takes account of customer circumstance
- Is the financial advisor/broker giving you advice registered, well informed about the product and are things clearly explained to you?
5. TCF Outcome 5 – Customers are provided with products that perform as FSPs have led them to expect, and the associated service is both of an acceptable standard and what they have been led to expect.
- Does the product or service meet your expectations as you had been informed it will at the point of sale?
- Do you know the service consultant to contact should you experience problems with the acquired product?
6. TCF Outcome 6 – Customers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by FSPs to change product, switch providers, submit a claim or make a complaint.
- Are you familiar with the complaints process for the product or service you acquired from the FSP?
To learn more about how the FSCA protects you as the customer visit our website on www.fsca.co.za or to learn more about how to manage your finances visit www.fscamymoney.co.za