Treating Customers Fairly

The FCA TCF (Financial Conduct Authority Treating Customers Fairly) puts customers at the forefront of financial dealings. This key principle of the FCA ensures all consumers of financial dealings receive fair treatment – including vulnerable customers.

Neglect or a lack of support for vulnerable customers can harm the financial system and the markets operating within it – including the automotive sales industry. Treating all customers fairly ensures the best outcomes for consumers and businesses alike.

Total FCA compliance is essential for financial companies regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, therefore it is important to understand the steps for fair treatment of vulnerable customers.

What Steps can be Taken to Ensure Fair Treatment of Vulnerable Customers in Regulated Markets?

What Is a Vulnerable Customer?

A vulnerable customer is someone who may be more susceptible to detriment when interacting with a financial service. Whilst the FCA recognises all consumers of a financial service are vulnerable, vulnerable customers may be further affected by:

  • Poor physical or cognitive health
  • Life events
  • Capability to understand aspects of financial dealings, terms, and conditions
  • Poor resilience to cope with unexpected financial or emotional events

These customers may require greater care or support when seeking a financial service, since the factors listed above may affect their ability to make a decision which adequately reflects and fulfils their interests and requirements. Businesses must be prepared to offer this increased level of understanding and care to ensure fair treatment of vulnerable customers in regulated markets.

What Is a Regulated Market?

Treating Customers Fairly is one of the central principals within regulated markets. A regulated market is a sector which falls under the umbrella of government supervision, meaning a government body oversees and manages the market. This includes the financial and economic systems within the market, encouraging stability and a fair and safe environment for all.

The Financial Conduct Authority has the power to regulate financial markets, including the automotive sales industry.

Examples of FCA Regulated Markets

The FCA regulates around 51,000 financial service firms and financial markets in the UK. FCA regulated markets include: banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers, and major investment firms.

Vulnerable Customers Needs

  1. Understanding and Empathy
  2. Clear Communication
  3. Accessible Information
  4. Tailored Services
  5. Support and Assistance
  6. Transparency
  7. Flexibility
Financial Discrimination: How Does Regulation in FCA Regulated Markets Combat Discrimination?

What Steps Can Be Taken to Ensure Fair Treatment of Vulnerable Customers in FCA Regulated Markets?

The fair treatment of vulnerable customers in regulated markets can be achieved by a business:

  1. Understanding the needs of a customer base, including vulnerable customers.
  2. Making certain employees receive the correct training and have the right skills to recognise and fulfil the needs of vulnerable customers.
  3. Respond to customer requirements throughout all services, including product design, flexible customer service, and communications.
  4. Monitor whether the business and employees respond to and meet the needs of vulnerable customers, addressing this if it does not.

Automotive Systems UK is fully FCA compliant. Therefore, we are a driving force behind encouraging and implementing the fair treatment of all customers, including those with vulnerable characteristics, through our systems. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver this in the form of an accessible and comprehensive system, which ensures the fair treatment of customers in regulated markets.



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